What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment that features a variety of games of chance and, often, skill. Guests wager money or points (called “comps”) on these games in exchange for food, drinks and hotel rooms. In some cases, patrons can win real cash. Casinos are often located in cities with high concentrations of tourists, such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City. They are also found on Native American reservations and, in some states, in riverboats.

The precise origins of casino gaming are unknown, but it is generally believed that gambling in some form has existed since ancient times. Modern casinos offer a wide variety of games, from the classics such as blackjack and roulette to newer additions like video poker and the ubiquitous slot machine. Guests can also place bets on sports events and horse races, and many casinos have gourmet restaurants and bars.

In the United States, casino gambling is regulated by state laws and gaming control boards/commissions. The legal gambling age varies by state, and most casinos require players to be at least 21 years old. Casinos may also restrict play to those who have signed up on their self-exclusion lists, and they sometimes employ security measures such as cameras.

Because of the large amount of money handled within a casino, both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal. For this reason, most casinos have numerous security measures in place. In addition to cameras, these measures include:

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