A casino is a gambling establishment that offers a wide variety of gambling games. Some casinos also feature additional entertainment options like a movie theater, bowling alley, spa, and indoor and outdoor pools. Some of the largest casinos in the world even have their own dedicated poker room for high rollers or VIP guests to enjoy private games in a quiet environment.
The precise origin of gambling is unclear, but it is believed that it has been seen in almost every culture throughout history in one form or another. In the late 19th century, as the popularity of gambling grew, many states legalized it by amending their constitutions or allowing riverboat or Native American casinos to operate. By the early 1990s, it was becoming commonplace for most major cities to have one or more casinos.
Modern casinos usually have a physical security force that patrols the casino and responds to calls for assistance or reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity. They also have a specialized surveillance department that operates the closed circuit television system known as the eye in the sky. Surveillance personnel are trained to look for patterns and trends in the behavior of casino patrons that might indicate cheating.
Security also starts on the casino floor, where dealers keep an eye on everyone at the table and can easily spot blatant cheating such as marking or switching cards or dice. They also watch for betting patterns that might indicate a player is trying to gain an unfair advantage over other players.