What is a Casino?

A casino is a large, fancy gambling establishment, with blackjack and roulette tables, slot machines, poker rooms and a lot of other games. It also offers hotels, restaurants, spas and other amenities. Its focus is on aesthetics and quality rather than quantity.

Its interior design is often based on a theme. For instance, one casino in Baden-Baden is decorated in an old spa town’s elegant style. Other casinos are themed around music: one in Florida is inspired by hard rock, with song lyrics adorning the walls and songs playing throughout the facility.

Something about the ambiance of a casino seems to encourage people to cheat and steal, either in collusion or independently. That’s why many casinos spend a great deal of time and money on security. Besides employing physical security personnel to patrol the premises, they use elaborate surveillance systems. Cameras mounted on the ceiling watch every table, change window and doorway; they can be directed to focus on suspicious patrons by security workers in a room filled with banks of security monitors.

Casinos have long been a target for organized crime. Mafia gangsters used them as fronts for their racketeering, drug dealing and extortion activities. They hoped that the casinos would draw legitimate businessmen away from other forms of entertainment and increase their profits. They were generally successful.