A casino is a gambling establishment that offers a variety of games to its patrons. The modern casino is like an indoor amusement park for adults, with the majority of entertainment (and profits for the owners) coming from games of chance. Slot machines, black jack, roulette, craps, and keno are just some of the games that contribute to the billions in profit casinos generate each year. Musical shows, lighted fountains, and shopping centers may draw visitors in, but casinos would not exist without these games of chance.
A well-run casino has security measures in place to prevent criminal activity. In addition to cameras, many casinos use catwalks over the gaming floor that allow security personnel to look down, through one-way glass, on the activities at tables and slots. Casinos also enforce rules of conduct and behavior, including keeping cards visible at all times.
In the past, mobster involvement in casinos was common. But as real estate investors and hotel chains began to see the potential for massive profits, they bought out the mobsters and established legitimate businesses. Today, mob influence is rare in casinos, and government crackdowns are very effective at keeping organized crime out of the gambling business.
Critics of casinos claim that they detract from the economy of a city by drawing away spending on other forms of local entertainment. They also argue that the money spent on treating compulsive gamblers largely offsets any economic gains that a casino may bring.