What Is a Casino?
A casino (also called a gaming house or a gambling establishment) is an establishment where people can play various types of gambling games. The games include black jack, roulette, craps, keno, poker and slot machines. Many casinos also offer dining and entertainment options. Some are located in or near hotels, resorts, cruise ships and other tourist attractions. A small number of casinos are located on Indian reservations in the United States.
Despite the flashy lights, musical shows and elaborate themes that characterize modern casinos, they would not exist without the games of chance that provide the billions in profits they rake in each year. While table games like blackjack, roulette and craps provide the bulk of the profit, slot machines are now a major revenue source as well.
In their early days, many casinos were run by organized crime gangsters. Mafia money helped build the gambling businesses of Las Vegas and Reno, but mobster owners were often too closely involved with their operations to be comfortable with the industry’s seamy image. They took sole or partial ownership of casinos and controlled the management. They also influenced the outcome of some games by threatening casino staff.
Since casinos depend on patrons for much of their revenue, they spend a lot of money on security. They have cameras in every room and on every window and doorway, and security workers monitor the video feeds constantly. Despite these measures, it is still possible for players and dealers to cheat or steal; hence the need for high security in casinos.