A casino is a gambling establishment that offers table games like blackjack, roulette and poker as well as slot machines (the classic ones people still refer to as one-armed bandits) and other gaming equipment. In addition to these traditional table and card games, many casinos also offer a variety of other activities such as a restaurant, shopping, and entertainment.

With so much money changing hands, both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal; therefore, most casinos employ extensive security measures, such as cameras located throughout the casino. In addition to this technology, many modern casinos have a specialized department that monitors their entire gaming floor. These workers can monitor everything that happens in the casino via a high-tech “eye in the sky” system, and they can quickly focus on suspicious activity or definite criminal acts.

In games that involve skill, the casino earns money by taking a small percentage of the total bets placed by players. This is called the house edge and it varies by game and casino. The house edge can be lower than two percent, but even a tiny advantage adds up to a lot of money over time.

During the mob’s heyday in Reno and Las Vegas, casino owners sought out mob money to fund their gambling operations. Eventually, real estate investors and hotel chains realized the potential profits and bought out the mobsters. They also enacted strict rules that keep mob involvement to a minimum, as even the slightest hint of Mafia control could lose them their casino licenses.