What Is a Casino?

A casino is an establishment for gambling, typically featuring a variety of games of chance. Casinos may be large and luxurious or small and intimate. They may be stand-alone or integrated into hotels, resorts, restaurants, cruise ships, or other entertainment complexes. Successful casinos take in billions of dollars each year for the companies, organizations, investors, and Native American tribes that own and operate them. They also benefit local economies in the form of taxes and other payments.

Security is a vital component of casino operations. A casino’s staff has many ways to spot cheating and stealing, both from patrons and among themselves. Dealers are trained to watch for blatant manipulation of cards or dice, and the routines of table game play follow certain patterns that make it easier for security personnel to pick up on anomalies. In addition, modern casinos use elaborate surveillance systems that give security workers a “eye-in-the-sky” view of all the action, with cameras in every room and at every window and doorway.

While the word casino is most often associated with Las Vegas and Atlantic City, there are now hundreds of casinos across the country and around the world. Many feature a variety of table games, but others specialize in particular kinds of gambling or have been designed to emulate the look and feel of traditional European casinos. Most feature high-end dining, stage shows, and other luxuries to help them attract visitors. In fact, some casinos are so lavish that they are considered destinations in their own right.