A casino (also called a gambling house, and in some countries, a gaming hall) is an establishment where people can play a variety of games. The games usually include poker, bingo, baccarat, blackjack, and roulette. Some casinos also have restaurants and bars. Casinos are located in some cities, while others are built near or combined with hotels, retail shops, and other tourist attractions.
Casinos have a number of security measures in place to protect their patrons and assets. The most obvious is the presence of security cameras, which cover most of the casino floor. A more subtle protection is that most of the game play in a casino follows certain patterns, which make it easier for security staff to spot any unusual activity. In addition, casinos often use chips instead of cash to keep track of money entering and leaving the facility.
Despite all these precautions, some casino patrons still try to cheat or steal. Fortunately for the casinos, most such attempts are unsuccessful. This is partly because the rules of most games are clearly written and well-known to all players, and casinos have a variety of methods for punishing violators. For example, if someone cheats at a table game, the dealer will typically warn him or her, and may then ban him from the casino for life.
Modern casinos are almost universally licensed and regulated. Many European countries changed their laws in the late 20th century to permit casinos, and large American cities such as Las Vegas grew into gambling meccas. During this same period, Native American casinos began to appear on American Indian reservations and elsewhere.