A casino is a building or room in which gambling games are played. Casinos are most famous for their thrilling atmosphere, which features flashy decor and music that accentuates the excitement of winning big. While casinos have many amenities that help them attract and keep customers, such as hotels, restaurants, and shows, they would not exist without the billions in profits that patrons rake in from chance games like poker, roulette, blackjack, baccarat and craps.

The casino industry grew rapidly after Nevada legalized gambling in 1931. Since then, it has spread throughout the United States, and 40 states now have some form of gaming. The largest concentration of casinos is in Las Vegas, and other cities such as Atlantic City and Chicago have become known for their casinos. Native American casinos are also proliferating. The large amounts of money handled by casinos make them vulnerable to cheating and theft, both collusion and independent actions. Security measures are therefore a primary focus of the industry. The most basic measure is a network of surveillance cameras that cover the entire casino floor. More elaborate systems give security personnel a “eye-in-the-sky” that can be directed to focus on suspicious patrons by workers in a separate room filled with banks of monitors.

Another important facet of the casino is its comp system, whereby players can earn free rooms, meals and tickets to shows for playing a certain amount of time or placing large bets. In some cases, the comps can even include airline tickets or limo service.