A casino is a place where gamblers can play a variety of games of chance. In modern times casinos often add a host of other luxurious features to attract and retain customers, such as restaurants, free drinks, stage shows and dramatic scenery. But even a very simple gambling establishment can be called a casino, as long as the main attraction is gambling.

Casinos are located in many countries, including the United States. In the 1970s several American states amended their antigambling laws to permit casino gambling. Some casinos are operated on Native American reservations and are exempt from state antigambling laws. The Bellagio in Las Vegas is a well-known example of a casino.

In the early days of casino gambling, organized crime figures provided the bankroll for many casinos. They also became personally involved in the businesses, taking full or partial ownership and sometimes threatening casino staff. The mob’s seamy image helped to tarnish the reputation of the industry and kept many legitimate businessmen from investing in it.

Casinos spend a lot of time and money on security. They have special cameras in the ceiling to monitor patrons. They have a variety of security personnel, including dealers who watch for blatant cheating (palming cards or switching dice) and pit bosses who oversee table games. They also have “higher-up” security people who track each person and watch for recognizable patterns in betting behavior. Most casinos offer a wide variety of games, but the best-known are card games like poker and blackjack, table games such as roulette, craps and baccarat, and wheel games such as roulette and keno.