A casino is a gambling establishment with games of chance for patrons. The casino industry is global, with many countries regulating or legalizing casinos and gaming. Most casinos offer a wide range of games, including blackjack, roulette, video poker, and slot machines. Some have themed restaurants, shopping areas, and stage shows. Historically, most casinos were run by organized crime groups, but mob control faded as real estate investors and hotel chains realized the profit potential of the gambling business.
The casino industry generates billions of dollars in revenue each year. Almost every casino game has a built in advantage for the house, and over time this can add up to a substantial amount of money. To counter this, casinos offer free food and drinks to attract players and limit their losses.
Security is another major consideration for casinos. Large amounts of money are handled inside casinos, and both staff and patrons may be tempted to cheat or steal. Casinos employ various security measures, from cameras to high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” systems that monitor every table, doorway, and window at once.
Despite these efforts, casinos cannot prevent all losses and are always subject to fluctuations in the economy and in consumer spending habits. The largest casinos are often located in cities with a lot of tourists, such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City. In the United States, more than 1,000 casinos operate legally and the number is growing steadily as more states legalize gambling.