A casino is an establishment that offers gamblers a wide variety of games of chance. It also offers other amenities such as restaurants, hotel rooms, and entertainment. The term may also refer to a gambling house (Spanish: casa de juego) or a private club that offers gaming as part of its activities. In the United States, a casino is a place where state-licensed gambling takes place.
Because of the large amounts of money handled, casinos are prone to security issues. Both patrons and employees may try to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. As a result, the casino industry invests a great deal of time and money in security. This includes surveillance cameras throughout the casino and sophisticated technology to monitor the games themselves, such as “chip tracking” where betting chips have a built-in microcircuit that enable casinos to see exactly how much is wagered on each game minute by minute; and the use of electronic monitoring to discover any statistical deviation from expected results in roulette or dice games.
In the 1950s, as the popularity of casinos grew, organized crime families began investing their cash in them. Mobster money allowed Nevada casino owners to upgrade their facilities and improve their image. It also enabled them to expand and offer big bettors extravagant inducements, such as free spectacular entertainment, luxury transportation, elegant living quarters, and more. However, federal anti-mafia legislation and the threat of losing their gambling licenses at the slightest hint of mob involvement soon brought an end to mafia involvement in casinos.