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What Is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment for gambling. Some casinos are stand-alone buildings, while others are integrated into hotels, restaurants, resorts, and other entertainment venues. Most casinos offer a variety of gambling games, including slot machines, roulette, blackjack, craps, and poker. In addition, they often feature live entertainment and other special events. Some states have laws regulating the operation of casinos.

While musical shows, lighted fountains and lavish hotels help draw people to the casino floor, casinos would not exist without the games of chance that generate billions in profits for their owners every year. Slot machines, blackjack, poker, and baccarat make up the bulk of the games played in U.S. casinos, but many other games also can be found in some places, including traditional Far Eastern games like sic bo, fan-tan and pai gow.

Because large amounts of money are handled within a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. To avoid these risks, casinos spend a large amount of time, effort and money on security. Cameras are positioned throughout the facility to provide a high-tech eye-in-the-sky, and they can be focused on specific suspicious patrons by security workers in a room filled with banks of monitors. Rules of conduct and behavior are also enforced; for example, players at card games must keep their cards visible at all times. Despite these measures, casino security remains a significant challenge.