A casino is a place where people gamble. Some casinos are standalone buildings, while others are attached to hotels, resorts, or other entertainment facilities. Casinos often have a variety of games, and some are specialized in particular types of gambling, such as horse racing or poker. In addition to the gambling itself, many casinos feature restaurants, shops, and other amenities. Some even host live entertainment such as stand-up comedy or concerts. In military and non-military usage, the term casino may refer to an officers’ mess.

In the United States, casinos began to appear on Native American reservations during the 1980s. Eventually, they spread to the major cities of the country and became increasingly popular. During the 1990s, states amended their laws to allow more gaming facilities. Some states allow casino gambling on riverboats, while others limit it to certain locations within their boundaries.

Security is a big part of casino operations. The casino staff keeps a close eye on each game, and security personnel are on the lookout for blatant cheating such as palming or marking cards. In modern casinos, each slot machine is wired to a central computer, and the security staff can quickly detect statistical deviations from the expected norm.

The casino also rewards its regular customers with free goods or services, called comps. These can include hotel rooms, food, drinks, shows, or even airline tickets. Generally, the more money a patron spends in the casino, the more comps he or she receives. Comps can add up to a significant amount of the casino’s annual revenue, and this is one of the ways that casinos make their profits.