A casino is an establishment that offers a variety of games of chance for wagering. It may also offer restaurant facilities, free drinks and stage shows. The term is most often used to describe a facility in the United States, but it can also refer to places in other countries. Some casinos specialize in a particular game, such as poker or blackjack, while others offer a wide selection of gambling activities. Many casinos are combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, cruise ships and other tourist attractions.

The casino industry is one of the most lucrative industries in the world, with annual revenues of more than $300 billion. However, the industry is prone to corruption and other illegal activities. In order to protect their profits and minimize legal risks, casinos employ a variety of security measures. These include cameras, secure rooms, and specially trained personnel. Some casinos are even staffed by full-time investigators.

In the past, organized crime figures were heavily involved in the casino business. They provided funds to help casinos expand and renovate, and they were often given sole or partial ownership of a casino. Mafia money gave casinos a notorious reputation, and legitimate businessmen were reluctant to get involved in them.

Today, the major casinos are owned by hotel chains and real estate investors, who have figured out how to profit from them. They focus their investments on high rollers, who are gamblers who place large bets and spend a lot of time in the casino. To attract these customers, they offer them extravagant comps such as discounted travel and free meals and shows. The profits from these high rollers offset the losses from their smaller bettors.