A casino (also called a gambling house or a gaming establishment) is an establishment offering certain types of gambling. Modern casinos are usually combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops and other entertainment facilities. Some casinos are located on American Indian reservations, which are exempt from state laws that prohibit gambling. Others are built on cruise ships or in tourist areas and serve as a destination for tourists who gamble.
Due to the large amounts of money that are handled within casinos, both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently; consequently, all casinos have substantial security measures. Basic measures include a security force that patrols the casino, and closed-circuit television systems that monitor all activity inside and around the facility.
In addition to these, many casinos use technology to supervise the games themselves. For example, in a system known as chip tracking, betting chips have built-in microcircuitry that allows the casino to monitor each bet minute by minute and warn when a result deviates from an expected one. Roulette wheels are also regularly monitored electronically to discover any mechanical anomalies.
The first modern casinos were mob-run and controlled, but with the advent of real estate investors and hotel chains who had deep pockets, the mobsters lost their hold on the businesses and were forced out. Federal crackdowns and the threat of losing a casino’s gaming license at even the hint of mob involvement have kept legitimate casinos free from mafia control to this day.