What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment where patrons can gamble by playing games of chance. In some casinos, there are also tables where people can place bets on the outcome of events such as horse races and football games. Some casinos have restaurants and other entertainment facilities.

Because of the large amount of money handled within a casino, there is a risk of cheating and theft, either by staff or patrons. To counter this threat, most casinos have elaborate security measures. These range from cameras that watch every table and window to a separate room filled with banks of security monitors that can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons. In addition, casino security personnel patrol the floor to spot suspicious activities and are able to check the integrity of slot machine payouts.

Casinos grew rapidly around the world in the 1980s and 1990s, especially after the United States Supreme Court ruled that individual states could permit them. They primarily appeared on American Indian reservations, where they were not subject to state anti-gambling laws. In addition, many European countries amended their gambling laws during this period to allow for casinos.

In the twenty-first century, casino owners have become choosier about which high-stakes players they accept. They concentrate their resources on “high rollers,” who typically spend tens of thousands of dollars per visit. In exchange, these high rollers receive generous comps such as free rooms and meals. Moreover, they are generally not required to make a deposit, meaning that they can win or lose large sums without the risk of losing their original investments.

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