What Is a Casino?
A casino, also known as a gaming house or gambling establishment, is a place where people can gamble on various games of chance. These games often include poker, blackjack, roulette, craps, and video slots. In addition, casinos may offer complimentary items (or comps) to players. Casinos are often combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, and other tourist attractions. They may also host live entertainment events.
Something about the combination of large amounts of money and excitement encourages people to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. This is why casinos devote a significant amount of time and resources to security. Security cameras are located throughout the casino, and employees constantly monitor these images. The actions of other patrons at a table or slot machine are observed and recorded as well; patterns are established, and any deviation from the norm is quickly detected.
In 2002, about 51 million people visited casinos in the United States. This number includes domestic and international visitors. In some countries, the number is much higher; for example, in Macau, a gambling hub in Asia, the casino industry is booming.
As the popularity of casinos increased, real estate investors and hotel chains realized that they could make a lot of money by owning and operating them. The mob had traditionally run most of the country’s casinos, but a series of federal crackdowns on mob involvement in the industry helped to drive them out. Now, businessmen such as Donald Trump and the Hilton hotel chain own and operate casinos.