A casino (also known as a gaming hall or gambling house) is an establishment where various types of gambling activities take place. Its facilities may include a game room, table games, and/or slot machines. Many casinos also feature restaurants and entertainment venues. Some casinos are themed, such as those based on famous cities or regions, and/or offer special amenities to attract specific clientele.
Something about the presence of large amounts of money seems to encourage people to cheat or steal, whether in collusion with one another or independently; thus, most casinos devote a considerable amount of time and money to security measures. In addition to staffed security, electronic surveillance systems often monitor the tables and slot machines with a “eye-in-the-sky” view that allows casino employees to spot suspicious behavior or statistical deviations from normal results.
The largest concentration of casinos is in Nevada, followed by Atlantic City, New Jersey, and then Chicago. However, the number of casinos is rapidly increasing worldwide, thanks to a surge in Native American gaming and the growing popularity of Internet gambling.
Although musical shows, dazzling fountains, luxury hotels, and elaborate theme parks help draw visitors, casinos would not exist without games of chance. Slot machines, poker, blackjack, craps, and other games provide the billions in profits that casinos rake in every year. This article takes a look at the history of casinos, their most popular games, and how they keep their patrons safe.