A casino, or gambling house, is a place where people can play games of chance for money. Casinos may also offer other entertainment, such as stage shows and spectacular scenery. Modern casinos have a great deal of security to prevent cheating and theft by patrons and staff.

Security is usually divided between a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. The former patrol the casino and respond to calls for assistance or reports of suspicious activity. The latter operate a closed circuit television system, called an eye-in-the-sky, that watches every table, window and doorway. The cameras are usually adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons.

Because of their ties to organized crime, casinos have long had a shady reputation. Mafia members supplied the funds to make Reno and Las Vegas the gambling centers of America, but they were often involved in other illegal rackets as well. Many casinos have also had trouble with corrupt employees.

Casinos earn their money by charging a small percentage of each bet, or advantage, to players. This varies from game to game, but is generally less than two percent. Over time this can generate a large enough sum to pay for the casinos lavish buildings, fountains and replicas of famous landmarks. They can also afford to give away free drinks and food while gambling, reduce the cost of hotel rooms or even provide transportation for high rollers. The best known casino in the world is probably the Bellagio in Las Vegas, which has been featured in countless movies and is a must-see destination for tourists. However, there are several other famous casinos throughout the world, including the Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monaco, the Grand Casino Lisboa in Lisbon and the elegant Baden-Baden in Germany.