A casino, or gambling hall, is a facility where people play games of chance and win money. The games played there are based on luck and skill, such as slot machines, roulette, blackjack, poker and craps. Casinos also offer food and drink, entertainment, and luxury facilities for their customers. Some casinos are themed, such as the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, which is inspired by music.
Casinos are operated by private businesses or government bodies. Some are located in cities, while others are in remote areas. The number of casinos in the United States is growing rapidly. This is partly due to the legalization of online gaming. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years, with the global market for casino gambling forecast to grow at a CAGR of over 10.5%.
In the past, many casinos were owned by organized crime figures. Mafia members used the money earned from gambling to finance other illegal activities and launder the proceeds. They also took sole or partial ownership of some casinos, and were able to influence the outcome of games by offering players and staff lucrative inducements.
Modern casinos usually employ two separate security forces. The physical security force patrols the casino and responds to calls for assistance or suspicious activity. A specialized surveillance department monitors the casino using closed circuit television, sometimes known as the “eye in the sky” system. The video feeds can be adjusted to focus on specific suspicious patrons. The casinos also use this technology to monitor their employees.