A casino, also known as a gaming establishment or a gambling house, is an entertainment venue that offers various forms of gambling. Casino games are most commonly played in traditional land-based casinos, but have also been adapted for online play and are available in some states where the legal gambling age is 18.

In addition to offering a variety of gaming opportunities, a modern casino often features restaurants, bars, a shopping mall, and live entertainment. Some casinos specialize in specific types of gambling, such as poker or sports betting. Many states have enacted laws that regulate the activities of casinos, and some even require that they be licensed before opening for business.

Something about the nature of gambling encourages cheating and other illegal activity, which is why casinos spend a lot of time and money on security. Elaborate surveillance systems use cameras that can watch every table, change window and doorway at once; they can be directed to focus on suspicious patrons by security workers in a room filled with banks of security monitors. And while there are no clocks in a casino (they’re thought to make gamblers lose track of time), slot machine payouts are determined randomly by computer chips inside the machines.

Gambling is an activity that generates billions of dollars a year for the companies, investors, and Native American tribes that operate casinos. It is also a source of revenue for the cities, towns, and states that host them. Successful casinos attract visitors from all over the world, and some—like Las Vegas and Atlantic City—have become international tourist destinations.