A casino is a facility for certain types of gambling. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and keno are the games that rake in billions of dollars in profits for casinos each year.
Casinos employ a huge staff of people to keep an eye on everything that happens. Dealers and other table game employees have to look out for blatant cheating like palming or marking cards, and pit bosses and managers are constantly checking betting patterns that could indicate collusion between players at different tables. Casinos also have high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” surveillance systems that allow security personnel to monitor every inch of the casino at once, or even zoom in on suspicious patrons.
Gambling has a way of encouraging people to cheat, steal and scam their way into a jackpot, so casinos spend a lot of time, money and energy on security. Even non-gambling areas of the casino are monitored for potential problems: if patrons are walking around with drinks, cigarettes or food, they may be asked to leave.
Casinos were first popularized in the United States when Nevada legalized casino gambling in 1978, and from the 1980s onward casinos began to open on American Indian reservations, which are not subject to state antigambling laws. Today there are more than 3,000 legal casinos worldwide, with many in large cities and tourist destinations. The elegant spa town of Baden-Baden in Germany, for example, has a casino that was once the playground of European royalty and aristocracy, and is still visited by many tourists today.