Casino is a place where people can play a variety of games of chance and gambling is the primary activity. Various luxuries are often added to casinos, such as restaurants, free drinks and stage shows. The term casino may also refer to a large building that houses several different gaming rooms.
Although casino gambling is primarily an activity of chance, there are some skill-based games that allow players to reduce the inherent long-term house advantage to some extent. Such games are often called “advantage games” or “advantage play,” and the players who excel at them are known as advantage players.
In the United States, the term casino most often refers to one of the many massive gaming resorts in Nevada and Atlantic City, although gambling establishments have spread to other states, particularly when they are built on Native American reservations. The popularity of these gambling destinations helped prompt a number of state legislatures to amend their antigambling laws in the 1980s and 1990s, permitting casinos to open.
As casinos became more popular, real estate investors and hotel chains saw the potential profits from these businesses and began to invest in them. These companies have much deeper pockets than the mafia, and they were able to keep mob involvement in the casinos to a minimum. Because of the large amounts of money handled within casinos, patrons are often tempted to cheat or steal. To counter this, casinos employ a variety of security measures. These range from cameras in every room to elaborate surveillance systems that provide a high-tech eye-in-the-sky for security personnel.