A casino is a building where people gamble and play games of chance. It is also an entertainment venue with live music, lighted fountains and lavish hotels. The modern casino is a major source of revenue for many cities, and it can be found in almost every state. While musical shows and shopping centers help draw in the crowds, casinos would not exist without the games of chance that make billions of dollars for them each year. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette and craps are just a few of the games that bring in the money.
While gambling has been a popular pastime since ancient times, there is something about casinos that encourages cheating and stealing by patrons, either in collusion or on their own. As a result, casinos spend much of their resources on security. The most basic measure is a network of surveillance cameras throughout the casino.
In the 1950s, organized crime families controlled Reno and Las Vegas’s gambling establishments. Mob money flowed into these businesses, but the mobsters were not content to simply provide the bankroll. They wanted a stake in the business, and they took over whole or partial ownership of some casinos. The threat of losing their gaming license at the slightest hint of mafia involvement forced legitimate businesses to move in and clean up the gambling industry. The success of these companies gave rise to the modern, legalized casino as we know it today.