A casino is a gambling establishment that offers various games of chance to its customers. These games may include slots, roulette, craps, baccarat and blackjack. Some casinos also offer poker and other card games where players compete against each other rather than against the house. In most cases, the house has a mathematical advantage over the players, known as the “house edge”.
Casinos are not just places to gamble; they are often elaborately themed buildings with restaurants, shopping centers and stage shows. Although these features draw in patrons, casinos would not exist without the games of chance on which they rely.
While modern casinos are designed to be exciting and entertaining, they are also regulated by state laws and must employ strict security measures. Because large amounts of money are handled within a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal. To prevent this, casinos usually employ a combination of physical security and specialized surveillance departments.
The largest casinos in the world are located in cities that have legalized gambling, such as Las Vegas, Macau and Atlantic City. Other popular casino destinations include Monte Carlo, Reno and a number of Native American reservations. In the United States, casino gambling first spread after Nevada passed laws allowing it, and after several American Indian tribes changed their land-based gaming to casinos. From there, it has spread to many other states and territories. Some casinos are located on riverboats, while others are built on a land-based basis.