What Is a Casino?
A casino, or gaming establishment, is a facility for certain types of gambling. It is an industry that is regulated by law, and in most cases consists of slot machines, table games for card games such as blackjack and roulette, and other gaming apparatus. A casino is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike and generates billions in profits every year.
In the United States, the most famous casinos are in Atlantic City, New Jersey and Las Vegas, Nevada. Casinos are also found on many American Indian reservations, where they are not subject to state antigambling laws.
The casino business has a long history of being associated with organized crime. Mafia gangsters had plenty of cash from their drug dealing, extortion and other illegal rackets, and they were willing to invest it in casinos that had the potential to become money makers. Eventually, legitimate businesses such as real estate developers and hotel chains bought out the mob interests in casinos and established their own operations without the mob’s involvement.
Because so much money is handled within the confines of a casino, there are always opportunities for people to cheat or steal, either in collusion with each other or independently. For this reason, most casinos have extensive security measures in place. Modern casinos often use technology to enhance security. For example, betting chips have built-in microcircuitry that interacts with electronic systems on the tables, allowing the casino to monitor and oversee the amount wagered minute by minute; and roulette wheels are electronically monitored to discover quickly any statistical deviation from expected results.