What Is a Casino?


A casino, or gambling house, is an establishment where people can gamble. Casinos are often built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, cruise ships and other tourist attractions. They may also have a range of entertainment options such as bars, shows and tournaments. Some casinos specialize in certain types of games, such as table games like blackjack and roulette, or video poker.

In the United States, casinos are usually licensed and regulated by state or provincial governments. In many cases, casino gambling is legalized as a way to boost tourism and encourage local economies. In most cases, the amount of money a player can win or lose on a game is limited to a set amount, called the minimum bet or minimum wager. Casinos can also offer perks to encourage gambling, such as discounted travel packages or free buffets. This is called comping.

During the 1950s, organized crime figures began pouring money into Reno and Las Vegas casinos. The mobster money helped casinos overcome their seamy image, and a few of them even took sole or partial ownership of some. As casino ownership became more legitimate, mobsters started to move on to other ventures, such as real estate investment.

Modern casinos use technology to enhance security and customer service. For instance, some casinos use cameras to monitor the actions of patrons. They also employ rules of conduct and behavior that are intended to deter crime. Casinos can also detect and warn players when the expected results of a game deviate from a true random chance.