What is a Casino?

A casino is a place where people gamble with cash or chips. There are three general categories of casino games: gaming machines, table games, and random number games. Gaming machines, such as slots and video poker, allow a player to compete against the machine rather than against other players. Table games, such as blackjack and craps, require the involvement of croupiers or dealers and usually have a skill element. Random number games, such as bingo and lottery-type games, are based on randomly selected numbers or combinations of outcomes.

Some casinos are also entertainment centers with theaters and other forms of live performance. The Venetian in Las Vegas, for example, features a Grand Canal where guests can glide in gondolas. In addition to gambling, many casinos feature restaurants, bars, and other attractions such as rooftop pools, spas, and arcades.

Casinos are regulated by state and local laws, and the minimum age for gambling varies from state to state. Some states prohibit gambling altogether, while others regulate it to some degree. Casinos are also increasingly using technology to increase security and prevent cheating. For example, in table games, electronic devices called “chip tracking” record the amount of money that is bet minute-by-minute. These devices are monitored by computer programs that alert the croupiers when there is a discrepancy. In addition, some casinos use catwalks that enable surveillance personnel to look directly down on the tables through one-way glass. This is referred to as a bird’s eye view and can be used to spot cheating.