A casino is a public room or building that allows patrons to gamble on games of chance. These include poker, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat, and slot machines. In addition to these games, some casinos offer entertainment and retail shopping. Casinos can be found in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and other major cities around the world. They can also be built in cruise ships, hotel complexes, racetracks, and even at truck stops.

Because large amounts of money are handled within a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. To discourage this, most casinos have extensive security measures. For example, casino staff monitor game play using cameras, and table managers and pit bosses watch over the games with a broader view to spot any suspicious betting patterns. In addition, some casino tables feature chips with a special microcircuit that enable them to track the exact amount of money wagered on each bet minute by minute, and to alert the dealer if any discrepancy occurs.

Casinos generate billions of dollars in profits each year for the companies, investors, and Native American tribes that own them. In addition, state and local governments collect tax revenues from casino operations. But some critics argue that the profits from gambling undermine local economic development by pulling spending from other sources of entertainment and driving people away from legitimate businesses. They also contend that compulsive gambling erodes family relationships, leads to bankruptcy, and contributes to crime and drug addiction.