A casino is a building where people can gamble on games of chance. It is a form of entertainment and a major source of revenue for some states. Casinos are often lavishly furnished and decorated, and have bars and restaurants. Some casinos specialize in specific games, such as baccarat (a popular game in Europe), blackjack or poker. Others are more general and offer a variety of games.
Security is a major concern for casino owners, since patrons may cheat or steal money or property. Casinos have many security measures to prevent this, including a wide use of surveillance cameras, which monitor the entire gambling floor from a central location. Some casinos also employ specialized staff to supervise table games, who look for suspicious betting patterns and watch patrons to see if they are palming cards or marking dice.
In the United States, Las Vegas is the leading casino city, followed by Atlantic City and Chicago. Casinos have also become common on American Indian reservations, where state antigambling laws do not apply.
Casinos are sometimes criticized for their negative economic impact. Critics argue that they divert spending from other forms of local entertainment and that the cost of treating compulsive gamblers negates any benefits a casino might bring to its community. They also contend that a casino’s profits are inflated by the money spent by addicted gamblers, who generate about 25 percent of a casino’s revenue. This inflated profit margin is known as the house edge.