A casino is a facility for certain types of gambling. It usually contains table games (such as poker and blackjack), slot machines, and sometimes entertainment shows. Gambling at a casino requires players to be of legal age and to follow the rules and regulations of the establishment. Some casinos are located in large resorts while others are smaller standalone buildings. In the United States, casinos are operated by state, local, or tribal governments, as well as private companies. Casinos are also operated on cruise ships and in some countries overseas. Casinos generate billions of dollars each year for the companies, investors, and Native American tribes that own and operate them. They also generate revenue for the government agencies that regulate them. In addition, they employ thousands of people and provide millions of customers with enjoyment and excitement.

In the late nineteenth century, as organized crime groups became involved in Nevada’s gaming business, they brought with them a perception of corruption and illegal activity. As the mafia’s financial base expanded, they began to take ownership of some casinos and even enlisted their own security forces. While many of the more than 1,000 casinos in operation today were not founded by mafia families, they retain a connection to them through management and ownership. Despite their seamy image, most casinos are reputable businesses that pay out winnings promptly.