A casino is an establishment for gambling. In modern usage, the term may also refer to a facility for certain types of live entertainment. Casinos are most often built near or combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops, and cruise ships. Some casinos are owned and operated by large gambling corporations. Others are independent. Something about the presence of large amounts of money seems to encourage people to cheat or steal, either in collusion with other patrons or independently; consequently, casinos spend a lot of time, effort and money on security. Casinos use cameras to monitor the activity in their facilities, and staff members are trained to spot blatant cheating such as marking, palming or switching cards or dice. They also watch patrons to make sure that they are not stealing from one another.

In addition to security, casinos focus on customer service. They offer perks designed to encourage gamblers to spend more, such as free hotel rooms and buffet meals. They also offer limo service and airline tickets to big spenders. These perks are known as comps.

During the late 19th century, as states liberalized their laws on gambling, casinos began appearing across the United States. They also popped up on Native American reservations, which were exempt from state antigambling statutes. Today, there are more than 1,000 casinos in the United States, and the number continues to grow as more states legalize them. Most of the nation’s casinos are located in Nevada, but they are also found in Atlantic City, New Jersey; on Indian reservations; and in other places where state-level antigambling laws have not prevented their development.