A casino, also known as a gambling house or a gaming hall, is a place where people can gamble by playing games of chance. Some casinos may add other luxuries to attract customers, such as restaurants and stage shows.
In the United States, casinos are regulated by state law. The most popular form of gambling in a casino is table games, such as blackjack, roulette, and craps. Other popular games include baccarat and poker. Casinos also offer slot machines and video poker. In Asia, some casinos offer traditional Far Eastern games, such as sic bo (which spread to several European and American casinos during the 1990s), fan-tan, and pai gow.
The casino industry is a major source of revenue for some states. The largest concentration of casinos is in Nevada, followed by Atlantic City and Chicago. Most of these casinos are built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, and other tourist attractions.
Despite their popularity, casinos have some negative effects on their local economies. The main impact is a shift in spending away from other forms of entertainment. Another is the financial drain caused by problem gambling: studies show that five percent of casino patrons are compulsive gamblers, who generate a disproportionate amount of profits for the casinos they visit. In addition, many casinos are criticized for being located in areas with high unemployment rates. Moreover, some critics argue that the large amounts of money handled in casinos make them susceptible to both collusion and theft by employees and patrons. In response, most casinos employ a variety of security measures.