A casino is a facility where people can place wagers on games of chance. The games played at casinos are regulated by law. Casinos offer a variety of gambling opportunities, including slot machines, table games and poker. They also feature live entertainment and dining options. Some people argue that casino gambling encourages cheating, stealing and other unethical behavior. Some states have banned casinos. Others allow them on Indian reservations and on riverboats. In the United States, there are over 3,000 legal casinos.

Security is a key aspect of casino operations. Elaborate surveillance systems provide an “eye-in-the-sky” view of the entire casino floor. Each table, window and doorway is monitored. Cameras can be directed to focus on a particular suspicious patron. Observers watch for betting patterns that indicate cheating. Dealers, pit bosses and table managers are constantly watching patrons to make sure they don’t rob other players.

Casinos typically rely on gamblers who spend a lot of money to generate the most revenue. They offer a variety of free and discounted perks, called comps, to attract these high rollers. They may receive luxury suites, free shows, gourmet meals, transportation and other special attention.

Some casinos cater to specific groups of gamblers, such as affluent tourists from Europe. Others have a more eclectic clientele, ranging from the aristocracy to mobster families. After the Mafia was busted, mob-owned casinos were bought by real estate investors and hotel chains, who are better able to resist the temptation of mafia ties.