A casino, or gaming establishment, offers visitors a place to gamble and play games of chance. Many casinos are designed with extravagant décor and feature a variety of games, food, drinks, and entertainment. Casinos attract a diverse group of patrons, from young adults to seniors. The majority of casino visitors are people over the age of forty. Casinos are a popular tourist destination and are located in cities all over the world.
In the twentieth century, many casinos became choosier about whom they invited inside their doors. They tended to focus on high rollers, or players who spent much more than the average person. These people were encouraged to spend more by giving them special perks, such as free luxury suites and lavish personal attention. Casinos also increased their use of technology to control the games and keep track of patrons. They used video cameras to monitor gambling activity and electronic systems that tracked the amounts bet minute-by-minute and warned of any statistical anomalies.
While some casino businesses are owned by organized crime figures, others are run by legitimate businessmen. The mob has often been a source of capital for casinos, but federal crackdowns on mafia involvement have reduced the flow of funds. Nevertheless, casino operators must find ways to attract enough customers to turn a profit. As disposable income rises worldwide, casinos are seeking out new markets to lure away tourists. As a result, the modern casino is a far cry from the seedy gambling dens of the past.