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What Is a Casino?

A casino is a gambling establishment that offers various types of games of chance and provides an opportunity to win money through gambling. Modern casinos are large entertainment complexes that offer a wide variety of games of chance and are often combined with restaurants, hotels, retail shopping, and other tourist attractions. Casinos are primarily located in states that allow gambling or on American Indian reservations outside of state jurisdiction, and are regulated by the gaming laws of the state in which they are located.

The majority of casino revenue is generated by high-stakes gamblers, who are rewarded with generous comps (complimentary items or cash) for their wagering activity. Many casinos design their environments around noise and excitement, using flashy lighting and gaudy floor and wall coverings that have a stimulating and cheering effect. It is not uncommon to hear players shouting encouragement at each other or yelling at the dice or slot machines. Many casinos also have a limited number of nongambling amenities to attract families and other groups of people who do not enjoy gambling.

Because gambling is an inherently risky activity, most casinos employ a sophisticated security force to monitor patron behavior and protect their assets. Casinos employ both a physical security force that patrols the property and a specialized surveillance department that operates closed-circuit television, or CCTV. The cameras help security personnel spot suspicious or definite criminal activity. They can also be used to catch criminals who attempt to steal money from the casino by passing counterfeit bills or unauthorized chips.