A casino is a place where a wide variety of games of chance can be played and gambling is the primary activity. A casino typically adds a variety of luxuries to help attract patrons such as restaurants, free drinks and stage shows. Many casinos also have hotel facilities and non-gambling game rooms. Some casinos are massive and have an impressive architectural style while others offer a limited number of games in a more intimate setting.

Gambling is an activity that involves a great deal of money and many people are tempted to cheat and steal, either in collusion or independently. In order to counter this, most casinos have elaborate security measures. These can range from simple security cameras to sophisticated surveillance systems with catwalks in the ceiling that allow surveillance personnel to look directly down, through one way glass, at the activities taking place at the tables and slot machines.

Another aspect of casino security is the strict rules of behavior and conduct that are enforced. Observant patrons can usually pick up on patterns that indicate an attempt to cheat or steal. For instance, the manner in which dealers shuffle and deal cards or the expected reactions of players at table games often provide clear warnings that something is amiss.

During the 1950s, when casinos became more common in America, organized crime figures provided much of the capital to operate them. These mobsters were not afraid of the seamy image associated with gambling and often became personally involved, taking sole or partial ownership of some casinos and even trying to control decisions made by casino personnel.