What is a Casino?

A casino is a building that houses a variety of gambling games. The casino industry is a massive one, and it has grown since its inception in the United States in 1978, when the first legal Nevada casinos opened. After that, other states began to allow casino gambling, and in the 1980s many American Indian reservations adopted their own casinos, which are not subject to state anti-gambling laws. Casinos are also found on some cruise ships and in certain countries.

Casinos provide a unique form of entertainment and attract millions of visitors each year. The vast majority of their profits are derived from gambling. While musical shows, lighted fountains, lavish hotels and shopping centers help lure customers into their doors, the casino business itself is primarily based on chance and skill (with some exceptions). Slot machines, poker, blackjack, roulette, craps and baccarat are all popular games that provide the billions in revenues that casinos rake in each year.

The casinos themselves have a number of security measures in place to prevent cheating and theft. Dealers keep their eyes on patrons to spot any blatantly obvious techniques, such as palming or marking cards or rolling dice in a specific direction. Table managers and pit bosses have a broader view of the table games, watching for betting patterns that indicate cheating and keeping an eye on the total amount wagered minute by minute. Video cameras are used for surveillance and some casinos use electronic chips with built-in microcircuitry to monitor and supervise table games.

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