A casino is a public place where a variety of games of chance can be played, with gambling the primary activity. While lavish luxuries such as restaurants, musical shows and lighted fountains help draw in the crowds, casinos would not exist without the games themselves: slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, poker, keno and baccarat provide the billions of dollars that casino owners rake in every year.
Most casino games involve a large element of luck and require no skill to play. But that does not mean they cannot be rigged: a casino’s security begins on the floor, where casino employees watch over the games and patrons to spot any blatant cheating. Dealers and pit bosses, for example, look for patterns in how players move around the tables and where they put their chips, and they keep tabs on which of their tables are winning or losing. Each employee has a “higher-up” person who monitors their work and notifies them when they should pay attention to suspicious behavior.
In the days when casino gambling was still illegal, organized crime figures provided much of the initial capital that allowed casinos to grow. Many mobsters also took sole or partial ownership of the casinos, and they ran their own criminal rackets on top of the gambling business, including drug dealing and extortion. Even when legalized, casino gambling carries with it the taint of organized crime, and many legitimate businessmen remained wary of investing in it.