What is a Casino?

A casino is a gambling establishment. The word is derived from the Latin for “house of games.” It may also refer to an organization that promotes or organizes gambling. Casinos are large commercial enterprises with high levels of security and surveillance to prevent theft, cheating, or other illegal activity. They often offer free drinks, food, hotel rooms, or limo service to players and are often designed with luxurious elegance.

Because of the enormous sums handled within casinos, both patrons and staff may be tempted to steal or cheat, either in collusion or independently. Because of this, most casinos have elaborate security measures. These can include cameras located throughout the facility, which are monitored by security workers in a room filled with banks of security monitors. These can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons by security personnel. Casinos also use technology to control the games themselves. For example, in table games like blackjack, chips with built-in microcircuitry interact with electronic systems to allow the casinos to see how much money is wagered minute by minute and warn them of statistical deviations from expected results.

As the casino industry grew, real estate investors and hotel chains bought out the mob and began operating them without mob interference. This allowed them to keep the mob out of the casino business and increase profits. Today, most casinos are run by people with deep pockets, such as Donald Trump and the Hilton hotel company.