A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Casinos are often combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops or cruise ships. In addition to slot machines and table games, many casinos also offer sports betting and horse racing. Some are renowned for their entertainment venues and luxury amenities, such as the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
Unlike lotteries, which are run by private corporations, most casino gambling is legalized and regulated by state governments. Many states have established gaming boards to control the operation of casino-type gambling facilities. Some have also enacted laws to protect players from cheating or other unfair practices.
Casinos rely on a combination of technology and human security personnel to enforce their rules. Video surveillance systems provide a high-tech “eye in the sky” that can spot suspicious patrons. The cameras are constantly monitored by security personnel in a room filled with banks of monitors that can be focused on any particular area at a moment’s notice. In addition, the routines of the games themselves create patterns that are expected by the players, which makes it easier for security people to spot anything out of the ordinary.
Mob money flowed into Reno and Las Vegas in the 1950s, but federal crackdowns on organized crime and the possibility of losing a license at the slightest hint of mafia involvement have kept the mobsters out of the casino business. In the twenty-first century, casinos are focusing on wealthy individuals known as “high rollers.” These gamblers spend tens of thousands of dollars a day and enjoy special treatment, including free luxury suites and other perks.