What Is a Casino?

A casino is a building that houses games of chance. These include card games like blackjack and roulette, as well as slot machines. Modern casinos often combine gambling with other attractions, such as restaurants, hotels and shows. They also provide customer service and perks to encourage gamblers to spend more money. These perks are known as comps, and they may include free rooms, meals and show tickets.

Gambling is a popular pastime that can have negative effects on mental health. For this reason, it’s important to understand the risks and seek help if needed. It’s also important to play within your limits and avoid risky behavior.

Casinos can be found throughout the world, but are most closely associated with Las Vegas and Atlantic City in the United States. Many of these venues are large, luxurious and feature a variety of games. Others are more modest, but they still offer gambling opportunities.

A few decades ago, mobsters ran many of the world’s most famous casinos. But as real estate investors and hotel chains saw the potential for profit, they bought out the mobs and began to operate casinos without the mafia’s interference.

Modern casinos are usually staffed by both a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. The latter operates a system of cameras that is designed to monitor all activity in the building, giving security personnel an eye-in-the-sky view of everything that goes on inside and around the casino.