What Is a Casino?

A casino, also known as a gambling house or gaming establishment, is a place for people to gamble. It is most commonly a place for card, dice and other table games and often has other entertainment features. Casinos can be combined with hotels and resorts or built as standalone gambling facilities.

The legality of casino gambling varies by state. Some states have strict anti-gambling laws, while others have legalized it. Many casinos are operated by organized crime groups, but the mob’s demise and subsequent crackdowns by federal agencies have made it possible for legitimate businesses to take over some casinos.

Most casinos are located in cities with substantial tourism, and feature a wide variety of games. Some popular casino games include blackjack, roulette and craps. These games have mathematically determined odds that give the casino an advantage over players, which is known as the house edge. The advantage can be small or large, depending on how much is wagered. Casinos may also offer other table and card games, such as baccarat, chemin de fer, and trente et quarante in France, and pai gow poker and sic bo in Asia.

Casino security begins on the floor, where employees keep an eye on patrons to spot blatant cheating such as palming or marking cards. Other security measures include high-tech “eyes-in-the-sky” surveillance systems, where cameras can track every table, window and doorway. In some cases, these can be adjusted to focus on specific patrons to quickly detect any suspicious behavior.

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