A casino is a public place that offers many different games of chance and gambling is the primary activity. While lighted fountains, musical shows and shopping centers help draw visitors, casinos would not exist without the billions in profits made by games of chance like blackjack, video poker, roulette, craps, keno and baccarat.
Gambling is a centuries-old practice that dates back to ancient Mesopotamia, the Greeks and Romans, Napoleon’s France and Elizabethan England. Today, casino gambling is a global industry with hundreds of sites offering everything from online poker to high-stakes table games.
In the United States, where gambling is legal, casino facilities include land-based establishments as well as riverboats and Indian reservations. Many countries around the world have laws regulating or banning gambling.
While there is a lot of money to be made in gambling, there is also a great deal of risk. That is why the most reputable casinos are staffed with professional security personnel and have a variety of surveillance systems in place to keep track of patrons. For example, casinos use cameras in the ceiling to provide a high-tech eye-in-the-sky view of the entire floor at any given time. This allows security workers to focus on specific suspicious patrons and prevent cheating.
In addition, a casino is classified as a financial institution under U.S. law because it accepts cash, issues checks and handles wire transfers. As such, it is required to file a currency transaction report whenever its customers make a bet in excess of $10,000.