What Is a Casino?
A Casino is a building or room where gambling games are played. A casino also includes a bar, restaurant, and live entertainment. Some casinos are massive megaresorts with hotel and entertainment complexes, while others are smaller businesses that are defined more by the type of gaming they offer than by glitz and glamour. In the United States, Nevada has the highest concentration of casinos. Other major gambling centers include Atlantic City, New Jersey and Chicago.
Because of the large amounts of money that move through casinos, security is a major concern. Patrons may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion with other patrons or independently; for this reason, casinos spend a great deal of time and money on security. In addition to security personnel, some casinos use high-tech surveillance systems that provide a “eye-in-the-sky” view of all tables and windows.
When casino gambling first appeared in the United States, it was illegal in every state but Nevada. This did not deter organized crime figures, who had plenty of cash from their drug dealing and extortion activities. They used this money to bankroll casinos in Reno and Las Vegas. They eventually took sole or partial ownership of some casinos and influenced the outcomes of some games. Fortunately, the mob’s involvement was short-lived. Legitimate businessmen with deep pockets saw the potential of casinos, and they bought out the gangsters. Today, most major casinos are owned by companies with a wide range of interests, including real estate, hotels and entertainment.