Casino is a gambling establishment offering various games of chance. These games include slots, roulette, baccarat, blackjack and video poker. These establishments are popular with both casual and high-stakes gamblers. They also offer an array of dining options and entertainment, such as live music. The etymology of the word casino goes back to Italy where it used to point out villas, summer houses and social clubs.
The word casino is also associated with organized crime. Mob money flowed steadily into casinos in Nevada during the 1950s, and mafia figures took sole or partial ownership of some of them. But the seamy image of casino gambling has remained a problem for legitimate businessmen, who are usually reluctant to get involved in it.
As a result, most casino gambling operations are run by investment banks, which are willing to take on the risks and expense of running them. The influx of capital has allowed some of them to expand, and some are now among the largest in the world.
Casinos often employ elaborate surveillance systems, with cameras that are wired to a central computer and that can be adjusted to focus on certain suspicious patrons. In addition, casino patrons may be monitored by security guards who have a room filled with banks of security monitors. These guards watch every table, window and doorway in the casino. One of my childhood friends got a job working security for a casino, and he quit after 3 months because he was so sick of people standing at slot machines soiling themselves believing they were on a winning streak.