A casino is a place where people play games of chance for money or other prizes. It’s often located near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, and cruise ships. It might also offer live entertainment and other amenities. Casinos generate billions of dollars each year for the corporations, investors, and Native American tribes that operate them. State and local governments also benefit from gambling revenue. In some states, casinos are operated on Indian reservations outside the scope of state antigambling laws.
The word casino is derived from the Latin carosinus, meaning “to shiver” or “to be cold.” Casinos are often decorated with bright and sometimes gaudy floor and wall coverings that are designed to stimulate the senses and cheer patrons up. Traditionally, clocks are not displayed on casino walls because the lights and noise would distract players from keeping track of time. Casinos use a variety of methods to ensure the honesty and integrity of their games, from simple rules of conduct to elaborate surveillance systems. Elaborate technology enables casino security workers to monitor every table, window, and doorway, and adjust the cameras’ focus as needed.
During the 1970s, casinos focused on maximizing their profits by attracting as many people as possible with cheap travel packages and free show tickets. They also encouraged high-stakes gamblers to spend a lot by giving them “comps” such as free rooms and meals. In the 1990s, casinos increased their use of technology to monitor the games themselves. For example, betting chips have built-in microcircuitry that interacts with electronic systems at the tables to reveal the precise amount wagered minute by minute, and roulette wheels are electronically monitored regularly to discover any statistical deviations from expected results.