A casino, or gambling house, is a place where people can play a variety of games of chance for money. A casino can also offer other amenities such as restaurants, hotels, non-gambling game rooms, bars, swimming pools and spas. It can be found around the world and is often combined with other attractions such as shopping, restaurants and stage shows.
The first casinos were established in the 19th century and grew quickly, particularly in American states that did not prohibit gambling. They were often located on Native American reservations, which were exempt from state anti-gambling laws. The modern casino is a large, lavish building that houses many different types of gaming tables and machines. Traditionally, it was the only place where a gambler could legally place a bet in America.
Because of the large amounts of money that are handled inside a casino, patrons may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion with other patrons or on their own. As a result, most casinos spend a great deal of time and money on security. Modern casino security is generally divided between a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. These departments work in conjunction to prevent crime and keep the public safe.
Casinos focus on customer service as well, and offer perks to encourage gamblers to spend more money. These are known as comps, and they can include free hotel rooms, food, drinks and even show tickets. For high rollers, the perks can extend to limo service and airline tickets.