What Is a Casino?

A casino is an establishment where gambling takes place. It might be a building or room where gambling games are played, or it might be a large complex such as a hotel, resort, or theme park with gaming facilities included. Casinos often combine entertainment, retail shops, hotels, and restaurants to offer a full experience for guests.

A popular form of entertainment, casinos can be found all over the world, from the elegant spa town of Baden-Baden to the glitzy megaresorts of Las Vegas and Macau. Each one offers its own unique blend of style and excitement, but they all share certain elements.

Because of the large sums of money handled in a casino, patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. This is why most casinos have elaborate security measures in place. Elaborate surveillance systems include “eye-in-the-sky” cameras that allow security personnel to look down on every table, window and doorway from a control room filled with banks of monitors. Casinos also track the patterns of casino games to quickly detect any deviation from expected behavior.

In the United States, the largest casino is in Atlantic City, followed by Las Vegas and Chicago. The rest of the top five are a mix of casinos located in cities with strong tourism appeal, such as London and Madrid, and those built around specific types of gambling, like horse racing. The only American city not to have a casino is San Diego, though it does feature several card rooms and other forms of gambling.