A casino (American English) or kasino (Spanish and German) is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Casinos are often built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, and other tourist attractions. In many countries, casinos are required to be licensed by the government to operate. This allows the casino to monitor its patrons and prevent cheating, money laundering, and other illegal activities. In the United States, federal and state laws regulate the operations of commercial casinos.

Modern casinos have a very large staff dedicated to security, as well as the latest in technology to monitor everything from suspicious betting patterns to table movements. Security is usually split into two departments: a physical force that patrols the casino floor and a specialized surveillance department that operates the closed circuit television system known as “the eye in the sky.”

In addition to security, casinos make their money by charging patrons for the use of their facilities and for some games. The most famous of these games is blackjack, which, when played properly by an experienced player, can reduce the house edge to almost zero. Other popular games include craps, roulette and video poker. Casinos also offer free spectacular entertainment and transportation for big bettors, and reduced-fare hotel rooms and drink and food vouchers for lesser bettors.

Despite the enormous amount of money spent on security, something about gambling seems to encourage cheating and other criminal activity. Perhaps it is the fact that the high winnings tempt people to try to beat the house or just the pure luck of the games themselves.