A casino is a building or room where various forms of gambling are conducted. The term is derived from the Latin word cazino, meaning “to chance.” Casinos are usually located in areas renowned for their entertainment and beauty, such as Las Vegas, Macau and Atlantic City, but are also found in other places around the world.
While musical shows, lighted fountains and lavish hotels draw visitors to casinos, the vast majority of profits come from games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette and craps are among the most popular games that generate the billions of dollars in profits raked in by casinos every year.
Although some mobsters controlled casinos in the past, legal investors and hotel chains with deep pockets bought out the mob, and mob-related activities are now strictly forbidden. Federal anti-mob laws and the threat of losing a gaming license at even the slightest hint of mob involvement help keep legitimate operators away from mafia control.
Security is a top priority at casinos, with specialized employees monitoring every table, change window and doorway for signs of cheating. In addition, sophisticated surveillance systems offer a high-tech eye-in-the-sky, with cameras watching every angle of the floor, and security workers able to zoom in on suspicious patrons. In addition to these technical measures, many casinos require all players to wear a uniform that clearly marks them as members. This is an effort to discourage theft and other crimes, which can have serious legal consequences.