What Is a Casino?

A casino (plural: casinos) is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Casinos are sometimes combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, cruise ships, or other tourist attractions. In the United States, casinos are typically licensed and regulated by state governments. In addition to traditional gaming tables, many casinos feature a wide range of electronic and video games, such as slot machines and poker. Depending on the state, some casinos also offer sports betting.

In modern casinos, technological advances make it possible for computers to supervise the games themselves, overseeing the exact amount wagered minute by minute and warning operators of any anomaly. For example, “chip tracking” links betting chips to a computer system that records their movements; roulette wheels are electronically monitored regularly for statistical deviations that would stick out like a sore thumb in a manual audit; and automated shuffling machines are used to ensure that cards are dealt in a predetermined order.

Because of the large amounts of cash handled within a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion with other players or independently. To discourage such behavior, most casinos employ security measures, including a physical security force and specialized surveillance departments.

Visitors to Las Vegas can experience a taste of Italy in the Venetian, where guests glide down the Grand Canal in gondolas or try their hand at baccarat, blackjack, craps and roulette. At the Aria, a cool, contemporary casino in a skyscraper on the Strip, table games include baccarat, mini-baccarat and European roulette; slots run the gamut from classic reels to 3D machines. There are also several high-end restaurants and bars, including the upscale Carbone, the sleek Catch and a sports bar decked out with American memorabilia.