What Is a Casino?
Casino (the word is derived from Italian) is a gambling establishment or room in which people play games of chance and skill. These games can include casino table games, slot machines and video poker. Some casinos also offer non-gambling entertainment and top-notch hotels, restaurants and spas. The world’s biggest casinos often feature spectacular design and architecture, and are built around themes such as waterfalls, fountains, giant pyramids, towers or replicas of famous landmarks.
Security is a major consideration for casinos. Casino employees are trained to spot a variety of cheating tactics, including palming and marking cards, juggling dice and switching dice and even hot-rodding a roulette wheel to alter its expected results. Some casinos are equipped with cameras that monitor the casino floor minute by minute and alert staff if something seems amiss. Technology has also dramatically increased the scope of casino surveillance, with electronic chips and roulette wheels that can be monitored electronically to discover any statistical deviations from their expected results.
Successful casinos bring in billions of dollars each year for the corporations, investors and Native American tribes that own and operate them. They also generate taxes and fees for local governments that allow them to operate. But critics say that casinos divert spending from other local attractions and encourage addictive gambling, which ultimately undermines whatever economic gains they generate. In addition, they are notoriously difficult to shut down because they attract compulsive gamblers from far and wide.