A casino is a place where people can gamble on games of chance. While musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels all help attract visitors, casinos would not exist without the games themselves—a variety of slot machines, roulette, blackjack, craps, keno and other gambling games provide the billions in profits that American casinos rake in every year.
Many casinos offer a wide array of gaming options, including table games and poker. Most games have an element of skill, but the odds are always against the player. Even though the house edge is small, it is still enough to keep a large percentage of players from winning and make casinos profitable.
Casinos use elaborate surveillance systems to ensure the safety of patrons. Cameras are positioned in the ceiling and around the casino floor to give security workers an “eye-in-the-sky” view of the entire facility at once. Security personnel can also adjust cameras to focus on specific suspicious patrons.
Some states have laws that regulate the operation of casinos, and some have casinos regulated by independent gaming control boards. Other states have gaming associations, which advocate for the interests of industry members. For instance, the Nevada Gaming Association represents the interests of Vegas casino owners. Mob money helped finance casinos in Reno and Las Vegas before the legalization of gambling in Nevada. The mobsters were willing to back casinos because it allowed them to launder money from their illegal drug dealing and extortion operations.