What Is a Casino?

A casino is a building that houses gambling games. It may also be combined with a hotel, restaurant, retail shops or other entertainment venues. The term casino may also refer to an establishment that specializes in certain types of gambling, such as a horse racetrack or dog track. The largest casinos in the world are located in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Atlantic City, New Jersey, although the number of casinos is growing globally.

The earliest modern casino was founded in the 1870s in the elegant spa town of Baden-Baden, Germany. The casino quickly attracted royalty and aristocracy from across Europe, who were drawn by its elegant rooms and the opportunity to gamble and socialize with their peers.

Casinos are designed with security in mind, both for patrons and staff members. Guests are often searched as they enter, and electronic surveillance systems are used throughout the property to monitor patrons and their behavior. Casino security personnel are trained to spot suspicious behavior and to recognize the normal patterns of game play, such as how a dealer deals cards or where a player places his or her chips.

In the United States, a casino is a legal business that must comply with state regulations. It is also licensed and regulated by the federal government. Some states require that a casino be located within a specific geographic area, such as a city or county. In these cases, the casino must be approved by the local gaming control board before it can open.