What Is a Casino?



A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. These casinos are often built near or combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops, and other tourist attractions. Some casinos also feature live entertainment, such as concerts and sports events. In some countries, the term “casino” is used synonymously with a gaming house.

Most casinos offer a variety of games, including slots, video poker, blackjack, roulette, and baccarat. They may also offer less common games like sic bo, fan-tan, and pai gow. In addition, many casinos have high-quality restaurants and bars.

In the United States, casinos are licensed and regulated by state governments. The legal age to gamble varies by jurisdiction, with most states setting the age at 21. In addition, many casinos are located on or next to Indian reservations, which are exempt from some state gambling laws.

During the 1950s, when organized crime money flowed into Reno and Las Vegas, mobster investors bought up many of the casinos, taking sole or partial ownership and trying to control decisions made by casino personnel. This was a major source of friction between the mob and legitimate casino owners, who were unwilling to allow their businesses to be run by organized crime. Eventually, the mob was forced out of the business by a combination of federal prosecutions and state anti-gambling laws.

Modern casinos employ a large number of security measures to protect their patrons and property. These include a physical security force and specialized surveillance departments that work closely together. In some cases, cameras are positioned to be able to watch every table, window, and doorway in the building at once, providing an “eye in the sky” that is highly effective at deterring criminal activity.