What is a Casino?
A casino is a place where gambling games are played. It has many of the same features as an amusement park, such as musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and hotels. But, despite the elaborate themes and amenities, casinos would not exist without games of chance like blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and slot machines that provide the billions in profits that casinos rake in every year.
Gambling has been a part of human culture throughout history, and in some form or another is present in nearly every society around the globe. But, the modern casino as we know it is a relatively recent development. Many American states changed their antigambling laws during the 1980s and 1990s, opening up the door to commercial casinos, especially those on Indian reservations which are exempt from state prohibitions.
Today casinos are a major source of entertainment and income, with the vast majority of their profits coming from gambling. Several million people visit casinos annually, and many more gamble online. The casino industry is highly regulated and is subject to strict government oversight.
Because of the large amounts of money that pass through casinos, security is a top priority. Casinos employ a combination of physical security forces and specialized surveillance departments, often using closed circuit television (CCTV) systems to monitor patrons and their activities in real time. In addition, casino staff are trained to spot suspicious behavior and report it to authorities. Casinos also use chips instead of cash to reduce the risk of theft and counterfeiting.