A casino is an establishment that offers a wide variety of gambling products. Most casinos offer a combination of games, such as blackjack, roulette, craps, and slot machines, and some also offer live entertainment. Casinos often have security measures in place to prevent cheating, theft, and other crimes. These measures may include video surveillance, which provides an “eye-in-the-sky” view of all the tables and slot machines, or more elaborate systems that allow security personnel to watch every table, change window and doorway from a room filled with banks of secure monitors.

While a lot of money is made in casinos by selling drinks and other services, the profits are mostly generated by the gambling itself. Even though musical shows, lighted fountains and lavish hotels are important to the revenue picture, they could not exist without gambling games like blackjack, roulette, baccarat, poker and slot machines.

Although the word casino has many different meanings, its modern usage refers to an establishment where gambling is legal and the primary activity. Historically, the term meant a private clubhouse where social events were held; it later came to mean a public venue for gambling. In the United States, where gambling was originally illegal, the first legal casinos opened in Nevada and Atlantic City, New Jersey. Today, casinos are found all over the world. Some, like the spectacular Hotel Lisboa in Macao, are conceived as architectural marvels that rival the city’s stunning skyline. Other casinos are more modest, but still house a variety of gambling games.