What Is a Casino?


A casino, also known as a gambling establishment, is a place where people can gamble and play games of chance. Casinos often offer a wide variety of gambling activities and are a source of entertainment for both locals and tourists. Many casinos have hotels, restaurants, stage shows, and other luxury amenities.

Casinos have a number of tools to prevent cheating and theft. For example, some have cameras that monitor every table and window. They also have special chips with built-in microcircuitry that track betting amounts minute by minute and detect statistical deviations from expected results. Additionally, casinos enforce security through rules of conduct and behavior; for example, players at card games must keep their cards visible at all times.

In the past, casinos were controlled by organized crime groups, such as the Mafia and gangsters, who charged hefty entrance fees to control their profits. After federal crackdowns and the advent of legalized gambling, mob-controlled casinos declined and were replaced by real estate investors and hotel chains with deep pockets. These companies were able to buy out the mobsters and run their casinos without mob interference.

Some casinos have a wide range of games, including poker, blackjack, and slot machines. Others specialize in particular games. For example, some casinos feature Asian games like sic bo, fan-tan, and pai gow. Still other casinos focus on sports betting, offering a wide range of wagering options. Casinos frequently reward loyal patrons with comps, such as free meals and hotel rooms, tickets to shows, reduced-fare transportation, and limo service.