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Casino

A casino is a gambling establishment that offers games of chance and the opportunity to win money or prizes. Some casinos specialize in certain types of games, such as poker or blackjack, and some are known for their luxurious surroundings and facilities, such as spas and hotels. In the United States, Las Vegas is the best-known casino destination; however, interstate competition and the desire to gain tourist dollars have led to an increase in the number of casinos outside Nevada.

A large percentage of casino revenue comes from the games themselves, but casino management also focuses on customer service and perks that encourage gamblers to spend more time and money at their facilities. For example, many casinos offer loyalty programs that allow players to earn points, which can be redeemed for free meals, drinks, shows, or even hotel rooms. In the 1970s, Las Vegas casinos were famous for offering deeply discounted travel packages and free show tickets to attract more gamblers.

Because large amounts of money are handled within a casino, both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently; for this reason, most casinos employ security measures to deter such activities. The most common measure is the use of security cameras throughout the facility.

Gambling has been around for centuries, but it was illegal in most areas until the early twentieth century. During this period, casinos were often operated clandestinely by individuals or in places with loose regulations. Eventually, more and more states legalized casino gambling, leading to the growth of large casinos in tourist destinations such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City.