A Casino is a gambling house where a variety of different games of chance are offered. Often they are combined with restaurants, hotels, retail shops, and even cruise ships. The casinos are operated by a mix of private individuals, companies, and associations. The casinos are located in a wide range of locations, from urban centers to remote countryside areas. Most states have passed laws regulating casino gambling.
Because of the large amounts of money handled within a casino, there is always a temptation for patrons and employees to cheat or steal, either in collusion with each other or on their own. This is why casinos spend a lot of time and effort on security. In addition to a physical security force, most casinos have specialized departments for surveillance and electronic monitoring.
Gambling has occurred throughout history, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice found in archaeological sites. However, a place for people to find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof did not develop until the 16th century with the rise of small clubs for Italian aristocrats called ridotti. The mob controlled many of these venues.
As casinos became more popular in America, real estate developers and hotel chains bought out the mobsters and began to run them as legitimate businesses. Federal crackdowns on the mob and the threat of losing a casino’s license at the slightest hint of criminal activity ensured that the Mafia kept its distance from gambling operations. Today, the most famous casinos are found in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. But, there are many smaller casinos across the United States and the world.