A casino is a gambling establishment that offers various games of chance and sometimes skill. These facilities are operated by corporations, investors, or Native American tribes and reap billions of dollars in profits each year. In addition, casinos contribute to local economies through taxes and fees. Many people enjoy visiting casinos to gamble, watch live entertainment, or simply spend time with friends.

Unlike home poker or blackjack games, where players deal the cards themselves, in casino-style poker and other card games, casino employees handle this responsibility. Casinos also feature a full-service restaurant and bar, as well as a hotel. In addition, some offer an extensive range of non-gambling amenities such as shopping centers and beauty salons.

From the late 1940s, when Las Vegas became a mecca for tourists, casino owners began to understand that they could capitalize on gambling’s seamy reputation by building huge complexes with lots of attractions and amenities. Casinos are now located throughout the world, from the Las Vegas strip to the waterfront in Atlantic City.

Something about the large amounts of money handled in casinos encourages patrons and staff to cheat and steal, either in collusion or independently. Consequently, casinos invest significant time and money on security. Among the most effective measures is an elaborate surveillance system that allows staff to monitor every table, window and doorway with high-tech cameras. Moreover, the systems can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons and to record their activities.