A casino is a building where people can gamble on games of chance and skill. It also features restaurants and bars. Guests can try their hand at thousands of slot machines, place bets in the sports book or sit down for table games like blackjack, roulette and poker. Casino gambling is popular throughout the world, with many cities and towns embracing it in an attempt to attract visitors and boost economic growth.

Because of the large amounts of money handled within a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal. This is why casinos spend a lot of time, effort and money on security. Many have cameras everywhere, offering a high-tech eye-in-the-sky look that can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons and to note any unauthorized activity. Others have catwalks, allowing surveillance personnel to view patrons through one-way mirrors. Each dealer and pit boss is monitored by a supervisor, watching to ensure they follow the expected patterns of betting and keeping an eye out for signs of cheating such as palming, marking and switch-and-bait tactics.

Mafia money flowed steadily into Reno and Las Vegas in the 1950s, but legal businessmen wanted to distance themselves from the gambling taint, so they bought out the mobster interests and took sole or partial ownership of the casinos. Today, casinos bring in billions of dollars for the companies and investors that own them, the corporations and hotel chains that run them, and local governments that tax them.