A casino, also known as a gaming house or gambling establishment, is a facility where various forms of gambling can take place. Casinos are commonly built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, cruise ships, and other tourist attractions. Some casinos are operated by local governments, while others are owned and operated by international companies. There are also a number of states that regulate and control the operations of casinos.
In the United States, the largest concentration of casinos is in Las Vegas, Nevada. Other large casino markets include Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Chicago. A growing number of casinos are also located on American Indian reservations, which are exempt from state laws against gambling.
Casinos are primarily venues for gambling, but some offer other types of entertainment as well. Stage shows, free drinks, and lavish hotel rooms are all common features at modern casino resorts. However, it is the games of chance that generate the billions of dollars in profits raked in by U.S. casinos each year. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, and baccarat are the most popular games.
Given the large amounts of money handled within a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal. To prevent this, many casinos employ a variety of security measures. For example, at card tables, dealers are required to clear their hands by clapping them together and spreading them apart. This is to ensure that they are not “palming” chips, which could give them an advantage over players.