A casino is a gambling establishment with games of chance. It may also have some elements of skill, such as in blackjack, where a player can gain an edge over the house by counting cards (though this is not legal in all casinos and can get you kicked out). Regardless of their games, all casinos offer the same general experience: people put money into slot machines, tables and other equipment, gamble and win or lose.
Casinos are a big part of the entertainment industry, and their bright lights and giveaways draw tourists from all over the world. But anyone with even a basic grasp of math and economics can figure out that they are ultimately built on the foundation of gambling-at which almost everyone loses.
Gambling was illegal in America for most of its history, but this did not stop casino games from flourishing in the wild West and eventually spreading to other states. Nevada was the first state to legalize casino gambling, and its success encouraged other states to follow suit.
Most modern casinos have elaborate security systems that ensure that the games are fair. Floor security starts with dealers, who keep their eyes focused on their own game and can quickly spot blatant cheating such as palming or marking dice. They are usually assisted by pit bosses or table managers who watch the games with a broader view, and can adjust their focus to watch for suspicious patrons. Besides the floor security, casinos have cameras in the ceiling that can monitor all areas of the facility at once, and can be focused on specific locations by personnel in a control room filled with banked screens.