A Casino is a gambling establishment where people wager money on various games of chance. Some casinos also offer food and beverage services. Casinos can be found all over the world, and are regulated by governments in some countries. The largest concentration of casinos is in the Las Vegas valley, with other major centers being Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Chicago.
As a result of the large amounts of money handled within a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently; for this reason casinos have a variety of security measures. The most basic is a constant presence of security cameras throughout the facility. In addition, dealers at table games are closely watched to prevent them from palming cards or altering dice rolls, and pit bosses supervise each game with a broader view to spot betting patterns that might indicate cheating.
Casinos would not exist without the millions of bets that patrons place every year. These bets earn the casino an edge, which can vary from less than two percent to more than a percentage point, depending on the game. This profit is the source of the billions in profits raked in by casinos every year.
In the early days of casino gambling, organized crime figures supplied the capital to operate casinos. While legitimate businessmen were wary of the Mafia’s reputation for extortion and illegal racketeering, mobster money was plentiful and easily available. Eventually, real estate investors and hotel chains developed their own deep pockets and bought out the mob’s share of casinos.