What Is a Casino?

A casino, sometimes called a gaming house or a gambling establishment, is a building or room where people can play gambling games. Casinos are most often associated with Las Vegas and Atlantic City in the United States, but they can also be found in other places around the world, including Macau in China. Some casinos specialize in certain types of games, such as poker or baccarat, while others offer more general gambling opportunities. Many casinos are operated by organizations such as Native American tribes, while others are owned and operated by individuals or groups.

Like any other business in a capitalist society, casinos exist to make money. Successful casinos generate billions in annual revenues for the companies, investors and Native American tribes that run them, as well as for state and local governments that levy taxes and fees on their operations. In addition, casinos provide jobs and generate tax revenue for the communities in which they are located.

Because of the large amounts of money handled within a casino, both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. This is why casinos spend a great deal of time, effort and money on security measures. Some casinos use sophisticated surveillance systems that monitor every table and booth in the facility, while others rely on more subtle methods. For example, the routines and patterns of casino games, such as how dealers shuffle cards or where players place their bets on the tables, tend to create predictable reactions and behavior that can help identify suspicious activities.