A casino is a gambling establishment that houses a wide variety of games of chance. Casino games include slots, poker, roulette, blackjack, baccarat, and craps. Although casinos offer many other luxuries, including restaurants and stage shows, they would not exist without games of chance, which provide the billions of dollars in profits that casinos generate every year.

Casinos are often run by organized crime figures, who have plenty of cash from drug dealing, extortion, and other illegal rackets. The mob provides the money that keeps a casino running and often becomes personally involved, taking sole or partial ownership of casinos and influencing the outcomes of certain games through threats to casino personnel.

Modern casinos use technology to monitor their gaming activity. For example, betting chips with built-in microcircuitry allow casinos to oversee the amount of money being wagered minute by minute; electronic systems monitor roulette wheels to detect statistical deviations from their expected values. In addition to these technological measures, casinos employ a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department.

The economic impact of casinos is difficult to measure, but they do have some positive effects on local economies. Money spent at casino tables and slot machines is a form of discretionary income that stimulates the economy by encouraging people to spend more on entertainment, dining out, and shopping. In addition, casinos create jobs in the local area. These jobs help to increase employment opportunities and raise the standard of living in a region.