A casino is an establishment for gambling. It can be a stand-alone building or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops and other entertainment facilities. In some countries, casinos are licensed and regulated by government agencies. A typical casino offers a wide variety of games, including blackjack, craps, roulette and slot machines. Some casinos also offer video poker and keno. In the United States, a growing number of states have legalized casino gambling.

Because large amounts of money are handled inside a casino, patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion with each other or on their own. To prevent this, most casinos use security cameras and other electronic surveillance equipment. Moreover, casino employees follow regular routines and patterns, which make it easier for them to spot anything out of the ordinary.

Many local governments encourage the construction of casinos because they generate substantial tax revenues. In addition, they often employ workers from the community, thereby helping to reduce unemployment. However, critics argue that the net effect of a casino on a local economy is often negative because it diverts spending from other forms of entertainment and hurts local property values.

Casinos make a great deal of their profits from high rollers, who gamble in special rooms with stakes in the tens of thousands of dollars. To entice these big bettors, the casinos usually offer free spectacular entertainment and luxurious inducements such as free hotel rooms, limo service and airline tickets. In addition, high-stakes players are offered comps based on the amount of money they spend at the casino.