What Is a Casino?

A casino is a place where people gamble. Some casinos specialize in certain types of gambling, such as craps, roulette or baccarat. Others are known for hosting poker tournaments. Some casinos are part of resorts or hotels, and some are independent.

In the United States, casinos are generally regulated by state law. Most states allow private citizens to gamble in a casino, but some restrict the type of gambling allowed. Some states also have laws governing the minimum age of casino visitors. Casinos often have security measures in place, including cameras and other surveillance equipment. These measures are used to deter cheating, stealing and other crimes. In addition, casino patrons and employees may be required to pass a background check.

Because of the large amounts of money handled within a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to steal or cheat in collusion with others or independently. To prevent these acts, most casinos have strict security measures. Cameras are located throughout the facility and monitor all activity in and out of the casino. Some casinos have elaborate surveillance systems that provide a virtual eye-in-the-sky for security workers in a room filled with banks of monitors.

Until recently, casino gambling was primarily controlled by the mob. Mobster money flowed steadily into Reno and Las Vegas, and some mobsters even took sole or partial ownership of casino businesses. However, legal crackdowns and the prospect of losing a license at the slightest hint of mob involvement drove organized crime from casino gambling and left legitimate businessmen to their own devices.