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What Is a Casino?

What Is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment that offers games of chance and is operated by a government licensed entity. These venues are found around the world in a variety of sizes and styles, from massive resorts to small card rooms. Casino gambling also takes place in some horse racetracks and at truck stops, and state and local governments regulate and tax them. Gambling addiction often drives casino profits, and studies show that local economic gains from gambling are offset by increased spending by addicted gamblers on other forms of entertainment, the cost of treating problem gamblers, and lost productivity.

The precise origin of casino is unclear, but it likely developed from an ancient form of gambling involving dice, called tiu [Source: Schwartz]. Modern casinos offer a wide range of games of chance, including slots, table games like blackjack and roulette, video poker, and baccarat. A casino may also contain one or more restaurants and bars, as well as other amenities.

The security measures in a casino depend on the types of games played and the size and location of the facility. Casinos must take care to prevent cheating and stealing by both patrons and staff. Many do so by requiring players to keep their cards visible at all times, for example. Security cameras are another important part of the casino security system. Other common techniques include ensuring that all bets are placed by authorized persons, and that people who leave the game area are not coming back in, and using patterns of behavior to identify suspicious behavior.