What is a Casino?

Whether set in picturesque Monte Carlo, a historic spa town like Baden-Baden, or the glitter of Las Vegas, a casino is a place where millions of dollars change hands. While musical shows, lighted fountains and shopping centers help draw in the customers, casinos would not exist without games of chance: Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, poker, baccarat, craps and keno generate the billions of dollars that casinos reap each year.

Something about gambling (perhaps the presence of large amounts of money) seems to encourage cheating and stealing, which is why most casinos spend a lot of time, effort and cash on security. Those measures include everything from cameras in every corner to the strict procedures that dealers must follow. Even the smallest deviation from these routines can prompt security personnel to investigate and take action.

Casinos are a major source of income for their owners, investors, corporations and Native American tribes. They also generate billions of dollars in profits for state and local governments through taxes and fees paid by casino gamblers.

The modern casino is a massive complex that may house thousands of slot machines and tables, restaurants, shops and night clubs. Some are built near resorts and hotels, while others stand alone. In the United States, casinos are regulated by state and local laws and can only operate in areas that have been designated for that purpose. Those regulations often require that casinos be located within specific market areas, and they must adhere to certain minimum standards for size, layout and operations.