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What Is a Casino?

A casino (or gambling house) is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Modern casinos often feature multiple game tables, and most offer a variety of table games, such as blackjack, roulette, poker, baccarat, craps, and bingo. Some casinos also include other entertainment attractions, such as theaters and restaurants.

Casinos are a source of revenue for many states, and are regulated by the state in which they operate. State regulators issue licenses to casinos that have met their regulatory standards. In addition, federal taxes are levied on winnings at casino establishments.

Although gambling probably predates recorded history, the concept of the casino as a central venue for a variety of ways to gamble under one roof did not emerge until the 16th century. A gambling craze swept Europe at that time, and Italian aristocrats often held private parties known as ridotti, where they could gamble legally.

Today’s casinos rely on high-tech surveillance equipment to detect cheating and other violations. Cameras can be located in a variety of places, from the ceiling above to the floors, walls, and windows of the building. Some casinos even have catwalks that allow surveillance personnel to look directly down, through one-way glass, on activities at the table and slot machines.

Casinos are usually located in areas with a large population of potential patrons, such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City. They can also be found on American Indian reservations, where state antigambling laws do not apply, and in other countries around the world.