What Is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment for gambling. It may also be known as a gaming house or a gambling hall. Casinos are found in many cities around the world and are often combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, cruise ships, and other tourist attractions. They can be very large or small, and many have a distinctive architecture.

Many casino games are based on chance, although some have elements of skill. Casinos are operated by a variety of companies, including private owners, public corporations, and Native American tribes. They are legal in some jurisdictions and illegal in others. Some casinos are devoted to specific games, such as poker or blackjack, while others offer a wide range of casino games and are known as resort casinos.

Most modern casinos have a complex security system. These include an eye-in-the-sky surveillance system with cameras watching every table, doorway, and window. This system is controlled by security personnel in a separate room filled with banks of security monitors. These systems can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons or to track the movements of particular players. Casinos also have rules of conduct and behavior, including the requirement that all players keep their cards visible at all times.

In the United States, most casino gambling takes place in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Other major gambling centers are located in Chicago, New Orleans, and Puerto Rico. Many American Indian reservations have casinos, which are exempt from state antigambling laws. During the 1970s, Las Vegas casinos promoted themselves as destination casinos by offering heavily discounted travel packages and comps such as free hotel rooms, meals, and show tickets.