What Is a Casino?

A casino is a place where gambling games are played and winnings are based on the luck of the player. While the dazzling fountains, stage shows and lavish hotels of modern casinos certainly help draw the crowds, it is games of chance that make a casino tick and provide the billions in profits that casinos rake in every year.

While the precise origin of gambling is unknown, it is clear that gambling in some form has been practised in almost all cultures throughout history. It is the ability to win large sums of money through a game of chance that has made casinos so popular worldwide.

Casinos usually employ a number of security measures to keep their patrons safe. This includes physical security forces and specialized surveillance departments that operate closed circuit television systems, commonly referred to as “eyes in the sky.” Security personnel can watch each table from a room filled with banks of monitors, which means they can quickly spot suspicious behaviour such as card marking, dice switching and other forms of cheating.

The United States is home to a wide variety of land-based casinos. Many major cities are best known for their gambling establishments, and even whole regions like Las Vegas have become a global mecca for gamblers. The map below shows all of the legal casinos in the country, and you can click on a state to zoom in and find out more about its gambling laws and offerings.