What is a Casino?


A public room or building where games of chance, often with a element of skill, are played. Casinos usually have many amenities such as restaurants, free drinks and stage shows to attract patrons and keep them gambling. But they would not exist without games of chance such as roulette, baccarat, poker, craps and slot machines, which make up the bulk of the billions of dollars casinos earn in profits every year.

The legal age to enter a casino varies by country and state, but generally is 21. Some states, such as Nevada, also require that those entering the casino wear a special identification card. Casinos may have dress codes for players and staff, and may restrict access to certain areas of the facility.

In the 1950s, when Reno and Las Vegas were just beginning to grow into tourist destinations, organized crime figures realized that the casino industry had great potential. They invested their own money in casinos, and even took sole or partial ownership of some. Mafia funds helped casinos expand and improve their facilities, but also contributed to the industry’s seamy image.

Modern casinos are required to have very high standards of security to protect their guests and assets. This is typically done by a combination of a physical security force and a specialized department for closed-circuit television monitoring. The latter monitors the movement of people and objects within the casino and is able to detect any suspicious activity. Security personnel are also trained to spot any patterns in game play, such as the way dealers shuffle and deal cards, or how gamblers react to winning and losing.