A casino (or gambling house) is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Casinos are usually combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops and other tourist attractions. Some casinos are known for their entertainment options, such as shows and live music. In some countries, the term casino may also refer to a licensed private club.
Gambling at a casino is illegal in some jurisdictions. Some casinos are operated by governments, while others are owned and operated by private companies. Some casinos specialize in particular games, such as poker or roulette. Many casinos are also famous for their architecture, or for being featured in popular culture, such as in movies or television shows.
The Bellagio in Las Vegas is one of the world’s most famous casinos. It has been featured in numerous movies and TV shows and is a must-see for visitors to Sin City. Other famous casinos include the Casino de Monte Carlo in Monaco, the Hotel de Paris in France and the Grand Casino Bucharest in Romania.
Many casino visitors are given complimentary goods or services, or comps, in exchange for their play. These can include free rooms, meals and drinks, show tickets, limo service and airline tickets. The value of comps is based on the amount a person spends and how long they are at the casino.
When casinos first opened, they were often run by organized crime figures. The mob provided the bankroll, but also took sole or partial ownership of some casinos and influenced game outcomes by intimidating employees. With federal crackdowns and the threat of losing a gaming license at the slightest hint of Mafia involvement, legitimate businessmen bought out the mobsters and started running their own casinos.