the hustle and bustle of the gaming halls, most casinos have
private rooms (called "salons prives") to cater for the
high-staking players who prefer to bet in a secluded environment.
casinos, and most US casinos, are usually part of large leisure
complexes that include hotels, restaurants and a range of
entertainment and sports facilities. The gaming floors are often
huge, with row upon row of slot machines, including linked
machines promising huge jackpot payouts. They have separate rooms
or areas for keno (which is played in a theatre-like arena), and
baccarat, which attracts big spenders. Most casinos in Europe tend
to be small intimate club-style establishments, and are often
located in or near the center of the city.
area encountered on a visit to a casino is the lobby or entrance
hall. Here reception personnel provide information and assistance
to visitors and deal with any membership formalities. At some
casinos car jockeys ("valets") take care of parking,
while at others, huge parking lots may be located some way from
the complex, with visitors transported via shuttle-bus or
monorail. Cloakrooms or lockers may be provided to take care of
coats and valuables.
Electronic items like mobile phones, computers, calculators and
radios are not allowed on the gaming floor. Taking photographs is
also not permitted.
To reach the
gaming tables, players generally have to pass through the noisy,
vibrant slot machine area. Slots are easy to play, and the stakes
tend to be low, so the slot halls usually are crowded. Flashing
lights, bells and sirens, and the clatter of coins being paid out
all add to the excitement. All types of mechanical and electronic
games, from the old-fashioned one-armed bandits to video poker,
can be played, and interactive video games are becoming
The main gaming halls are lavishly decorated, often to a theme,
but the focal points are the green or blue baize-covered tables,
which are printed with betting layouts. Seating for players is
provided around the tables, which are arranged in groups, called
(dealer) runs the game at each table, and groups of tables are
watched over by inspectors. Pens and papers are supplied for
players to note the numbers spun on roulette,
although nowadays, electronic signs at each roulette table
indicated the last numbers spun.
the USA often incorporate bookmakers. Called the race and sports
book, the "bookies" take bets on horse racing, greyhound
racing and sporting events from around the world. Satellite
broadcasts of major events are shown on huge screens, allowing
players to watch in a theatre-like environment.
cash-point ("the cage"), in the main gaming area, a
variety of financial transactions is carried out, such as cashing
cheques (checks), applying for credit, exchanging money for chips
and cashing in winnings. Players can use local or foreign
currency, or traveller's cheques to purchase chips. Some casinos
accept foreign currencies at the gaming tables, but most require
money to be exchanged beforehand at the cash point.
are not always readily accepted and the amounts that can be cashed
on them are limited. Where casinos allow credit betting,
applications can be made at the cash point, or in advance by
phone, post or e-mail. Most casinos now have ATMs (Automatic
Teller Machines) located near the cash point.