What Is a Casino?

A casino is an establishment that offers various types of gambling. The word is most often used in the context of a facility that houses and operates games such as slot machines and other mechanical or electronic gaming devices. The facility may also contain dining areas, bars, and meeting rooms. There are currently more than 1,000 casinos in operation worldwide. Most casinos are located in Las Vegas, Nevada, although some are located in other places such as Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Chicago. Some are devoted solely to gambling, while others offer other forms of entertainment such as concerts or theatre acts.

In modern times, a casino typically employs a combination of physical security forces and a specialized surveillance department to maintain safety and control. Cameras are placed throughout the casino to monitor activity and record footage. Specially designed chips allow casinos to track the amounts bet minute-by-minute and alert surveillance staff to any suspicious behavior; roulette wheels are electronically monitored to quickly discover any statistical deviations from their expected outcomes. Some casinos have catwalks allowing surveillance personnel to look directly down through one-way glass on the activities of players at table games and slot machines.

The world’s largest casino is in Macau, East Asia’s version of Las Vegas. The Grand Lisboa towers over the city with a façade covered in more than a million LED lights. Inside, the casino lives up to its surface decadence with more than 800 tables and 1000 slot machines spread across several large and lavishly decorated floors.