A casino is a place where people can play gambling games, such as poker or roulette. The casino’s owners make money by charging fees for the use of its facilities. Casinos also provide entertainment by hosting shows and offering dining and drinking services. Many casinos are located in major cities, but some are situated in remote areas. The casino industry is regulated by government law in most jurisdictions.
The first legal casinos appeared in the United States in the 1950s. Nevada’s organized crime figures supplied much of the initial capital. Legitimate businessmen were hesitant to invest in gambling operations because of their seamy image. But mafia members had plenty of cash from drug dealing and extortion, and they didn’t mind the mob association. They became involved personally, took sole or partial ownership of some casinos, and even rigged games. This helped Nevada become a gambling Mecca.
Modern casinos spend a lot of time, effort and money on security. Security personnel patrol the casino floor, looking for blatant cheating. The game rules, the ways dealers shuffle and deal cards, and the betting patterns of patrons all follow established routines that are easy for security people to spot. In addition, most casinos have an elaborate surveillance system that gives security workers a “eye-in-the-sky” view of every table, window and doorway from a room filled with banks of monitors. This technology is especially helpful in detecting illegal activities that might go undetected on the casino floor.