A casino is a public place where a variety of games of chance can be played. While musical shows, lighted fountains and themed hotels add to the appeal of a casino, gambling is still the main draw and provides most of the billions in profits that casinos generate each year.

Historically, casinos were often run by organized crime figures who provided the cash to finance the business. They also often controlled the operations, allowing them to influence the outcomes of some games. During the 1990s, technology dramatically improved casino security. For example, some casinos use microcircuitry in betting chips to monitor the exact amount bet minute by minute and warn when a deviation from expected results occurs. Roulette wheels are electronically monitored for anomalies, and some casinos even have wholly automated versions of their games.

Most states require that casinos display warning signs and provide contact information for responsible gambling organizations. In addition, many casinos provide free-of-charge counseling services to help problem gamblers. Some states also include statutory funding for responsible gambling in their licensing conditions.

In addition to the traditional casino games of blackjack, roulette and baccarat, most casinos offer a wide range of video poker variations and Far Eastern games such as sic bo (which grew in popularity in American casinos during the 1990s) and fan-tan. Some also feature poker tournaments where patrons play each other for prizes and the casino takes a cut of the action.