A casino is a gambling establishment that offers a variety of card and dice games. Many casinos offer live entertainment and dining. The name casino is a French word meaning “gambling house.” Casinos are also known as gaming houses or gaming rooms.

The casino industry has evolved into a worldwide phenomenon. While most casinos are located in the United States, there are also many in foreign countries. The casino business is regulated by local, state and federal laws. Some casinos also conduct charitable operations.

In the 1990s, casinos dramatically increased their use of technology. Video cameras monitor patrons and game results, while computer systems oversee the games themselves. For example, a table game called “chip tracking” uses betting chips with built-in microcircuitry to allow casinos to oversee the exact amount wagered minute by minute and warns them immediately of any anomaly; roulette wheels are electronically monitored regularly to discover statistical deviations from their expected results.

Most modern casinos have a specialized security department that patrols the premises, investigates calls for assistance and reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity. In addition, casinos have surveillance systems that monitor the entire floor from a control room referred to in the industry as the eye in the sky.

The average casino patron is a forty-six-year-old female from a household with above-average income, according to research by Roper Reports GfK NOP and the U.S. Gaming Panel by TNS. The research involved face-to-face interviews with 2,000 American adults and questionnaires mailed to 100,000 households.