What Is a Casino?


A casino is a facility where gambling games are played. In modern casinos, these include slot machines, blackjack, roulette, baccarat and other table games. In addition to these games, many casinos also have entertainment and other amenities.

In the US, casinos generate billions in revenue each year. Some are large, upscale resorts featuring restaurants and other facilities like spas. Others are smaller, more intimate establishments focused on the gaming experience. The casino industry has a dark side, however, with organized crime and other illegal activities common. In the 1950s, mobster money flowed into Las Vegas and other Nevada gambling centers. This money helped the casinos grow, but the mafia also took a more active role in the business, taking sole or partial ownership of some casinos and influencing the outcomes of certain games.

Although casinos are primarily gambling destinations, they are designed to entertain and provide excitement in a controlled environment. Patrons are often urged to drink alcohol and the environment is designed around noise, lights and movement. Casinos employ a variety of security measures to deter cheating and theft, including sophisticated surveillance systems. In the case of table games, pit bosses and managers monitor each game for improbable betting patterns that could indicate cheating. In addition, casinos use technology to oversee table games; for example, betting chips have built-in microcircuitry that allow the casinos to track exact amounts wagered minute by minute, while roulette wheels are electronically monitored to discover any deviations from their expected average payouts.