What Is a Casino?


A casino, also known as a gambling house, is an establishment for certain types of gambling. It is often combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops and other tourist attractions. In the United States, casinos are most commonly found in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, though there are some in Chicago, New Jersey, and other cities.

Most casinos feature a wide variety of games that are played on tables and in slot machines. A few of these games, such as sic bo and pai gow, have traditional Far Eastern roots. In addition, a few casinos specialize in specific games, such as two-up and banca francesa in Australia, boule in France, and fan-tan in China.

The large amount of money handled within a casino makes it vulnerable to cheating and theft by both patrons and staff. To combat these risks, most casinos have security measures in place. Among the most important are surveillance cameras located throughout the facility, which can be monitored from a control room filled with banks of security monitors. In many casinos, the ceiling is covered with catwalks that allow surveillance personnel to look down on tables and slot machines through one-way glass.

In the United States, Las Vegas has the highest concentration of casinos; it is followed by Atlantic City and then Chicago. However, the number of casinos is growing steadily as more states legalize gambling. Despite this growth, critics argue that casinos do not boost local economies; rather, they divert money from other forms of entertainment and contribute to problem gambling.