What is a Casino?

A casino is a building or room where gambling games are played. The games played in casinos are usually based on chance and involve a high degree of luck and skill. Some, such as craps, are purely random while others, such as blackjack, require players to use strategy. Casinos often offer free drinks and food to players and provide a luxurious atmosphere.

The casino industry is a major source of revenue for many nations and is growing rapidly, especially in the United States where gambling is legal. Casinos are also important tourist attractions in some cities and towns, such as Las Vegas in Nevada and Atlantic City in New Jersey. Many American Indian tribes operate casinos on their reservations and are exempt from state gambling laws.

Most casinos employ elaborate security systems to prevent cheating. On the floor, security personnel watch over the games and patrons to spot blatant attempts at cheating such as palming, marking or switching cards or dice. Table managers and pit bosses have a broader view and can note suspicious betting patterns. Elaborate surveillance systems give casinos an “eye-in-the-sky,” with cameras monitoring every table, window and doorway that can be adjusted to focus on suspects. Casinos have also used technology to supervise the games themselves; for example, in poker, betting chips have built-in microcircuitry that interacts with electronic systems to ensure that each player is wagering the correct amount minute by minute and to detect any statistical deviation from expected value.