What Is a Casino?

A casino is an establishment for gambling. It can be part of a hotel, resort, or standalone building. Many casinos host entertainment acts and other events in addition to the gaming tables and machines. Some casinos are also known for their luxury amenities and facilities, such as spas, rooftop pools, and water slides. The casino may also offer a variety of dining options, from gourmet restaurants to breakfast bistros.

A casino may be licensed to operate by a state, tribe, or local government. Some states have strict regulations and limit the type of games offered or the amounts that can be won. Other states have looser restrictions and allow for more types of gambling. In the United States, casinos are typically located in cities that are best known for tourism and/or recreation, such as Las Vegas or Atlantic City. In the early 1990s, casinos began appearing on American Indian reservations, which are not subject to state antigambling laws.

Because of the large amount of money handled within a casino, there is always a risk of theft and cheating by patrons and employees. Consequently, most casinos have extensive security measures in place. They typically employ a physical security force and a specialized department for surveillance.

During the 1990s, technology dramatically increased the efficiency of casino operations. In particular, video cameras are used to monitor patrons and the results of their bets; electronic systems in table games such as baccarat or roulette allow for minute-by-minute monitoring and alerts of any abnormalities; and computer programs help dealers keep track of the exact sums wagered by each player.