A casino is a building or room where gambling games are played. Modern casinos are much like indoor amusement parks with the majority of their entertainment based on gambling, including slots, black jack, roulette, craps and keno. These gambling games generate the billions of dollars in profit that rake in US casinos every year.
The etymology of the word casino is traced to Italy where it once denoted a villa or summer house, but in the modern sense it refers to a facility for certain types of gambling. A casino is a business and as such it must be profitable in order to stay in business. Casinos achieve this through a variety of built in advantages which are known as the house edge and which ensure that, over time, the casino will come out ahead.
Because so many large sums of money change hands in a casino it is a good idea to have a number of security measures in place. The most obvious of these is the presence of surveillance cameras. In addition to these, casino employees keep their eyes on the players, and the patterns of their betting habits, in order to spot any attempts at cheating or theft.
While the mob was a major force in casino operations in the past, real estate investors and hotel chains with deep pockets bought out the mobsters, and federal crackdowns have made it extremely difficult for organized crime to control a casino. The current owners of most casinos are legitimate businessmen, who must make a profit in order to stay in business.