A casino is a building that houses various gambling activities. The modern casino is a little like an indoor amusement park for adults, with the vast majority of entertainment (and profits for the owner) coming from games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and other games contribute to billions of dollars in profit for casinos every year. Casinos may have added luxuries such as restaurants, shopping centers, stage shows and dramatic scenery to help attract customers, but they would not exist without the games of chance.
A few countries have changed their laws in the last half of the 20th century to allow casinos. In the United States, Atlantic City and Las Vegas dominate. In addition to these two major gaming locations, many American Indian reservations have casinos. The casinos on these reservations are not subject to state antigambling statutes.
While many people associate casinos with glamorous locales such as those depicted in the movie Ocean’s 11, they can be found all over the world, from the high-rise rooms of a casino in Macau, the gambling capital of the world, to a low-slung room overlooking the city streets of a small town in Nevada. Most of the gambling action in these places takes place on the tables and in the rooms where card games are played.
Because large sums of money are handled in casinos, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal. For this reason, most casinos have security measures in place. Some of these are technological: cameras that can be aimed at any table or window; sophisticated surveillance systems that provide a “eye-in-the-sky” view; and sophisticated software that detects suspicious patterns in game play.