The glitzy, glamorous and sometimes seedy world of Casino is the place where champagne glasses clink, tourists and locals mingle and fortunes are made or lost in games of chance and skill. Most states require players to be 21 years of age or older to gamble.

Table games, like blackjack, poker and roulette, offer a challenge to both skill and strategy. Slot machines are the most popular casino game and account for a large percentage of gambling revenue. A player inserts a coin or paper ticket with a barcode and pushes a button; varying bands of colored shapes roll on reels (actual physical or video) and, if the pattern is correct, a predetermined amount of money is won.

Because so much money changes hands in a casino, security is of paramount importance. In addition to a visible casino staff, high-tech surveillance systems provide a “eye-in-the-sky” view of every table, window and doorway. Casinos also employ sophisticated electronic monitoring to discover any statistical deviation from expected results.

Mafia members were the early financiers of casinos, but federal crackdowns on mob influence and the prospect of losing a gaming license at even the slightest hint of mob involvement forced legitimate businessmen to invest in casinos. Real estate investors and hotel chains jumped in with deep pockets, buying out the gangsters and turning casinos into lucrative entertainment destinations.