What Is a Casino?

A casino, also known as a gaming house or a gambling establishment, is an establishment where people can gamble. Casinos are most often associated with gaming machines and pari-mutuel wagering, but some offer a wide variety of other games, as well. They may be built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, and other tourist attractions. Some casinos specialize in certain games, such as horse racing, while others have a wider range of options. In some countries, casinos are operated by government-licensed independent businesses.

The most famous casino in the world is probably the one at Monte-Carlo, which opened in 1863 and has long been a major source of income for the Principality of Monaco. Other famous casinos include the Stardust in Las Vegas, the Golden Nugget in Nevada, and the Hôtel de Paris in France. Casinos are also common in some Asian countries.

Some casinos have catwalks in the ceiling that allow surveillance personnel to look down, through one-way glass, on the activities at tables and slots. Other technologies have increased the capacity and accuracy of casino monitoring: chip tracking systems allow casinos to monitor bets made minute-by-minute, warning staff if any suspicious activity is detected; and roulette wheels are electronically monitored for anomalies.

The United States has the largest number of casinos in the world, most of which are located in Las Vegas, New Jersey, Atlantic City, and Chicago. Other casinos can be found in cities such as Denver, Cleveland, and Atlanta, and on American Indian reservations where state antigambling laws do not apply.