A casino or gambling house is an establishment where people can play games of chance for money or other prizes. Some casinos also offer live entertainment, such as concerts or theater productions. Some are combined with hotels or resorts.
In some countries, casinos are licensed and regulated by governments. Others are unlicensed and run by private businesses. There are a number of different types of casino games, including poker, baccarat, blackjack, roulette and craps. Some casinos specialize in one or more of these games, while others offer a wider variety of casino games and amenities.
Because large amounts of money are handled within casinos, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. To combat this, most casinos have strict security measures in place. These include video surveillance, and in some cases, catwalks that allow security personnel to look directly down on the activities of players at table games or slot machines through one-way glass. Some casinos also employ specialized technology to monitor game results. In one example, “chip tracking” enables dealers to monitor the amount of money wagered minute by minute, and alert security to any statistical deviations from expected outcomes.
Some casinos have been accused of causing problems in their host communities, with critics arguing that they divert spending from other local businesses and that the cost of treating problem gambling addiction erodes any economic gains that the casino might bring. Additionally, studies have shown that casinos reduce property values in the surrounding area.