A casino is a facility for certain types of gambling. It may also offer restaurants, entertainment, shopping and hotels. It may be located on a riverboat, cruise ship, in a resort or hotel, or in a separate building. Some casinos focus solely on gaming, while others are a destination in themselves. The elegant spa town of Baden-Baden, Germany, for example, became a playground for royalty and European aristocracy 150 years ago. Its upscale casino still attracts hardened dollar spinners and curious newbies alike to its red-and-gold poker rooms and plethora of blackjack and roulette tables.
The modern casino is like an indoor amusement park for adults, and the vast majority of its entertainment (and profits for the owners) comes from games of chance. Slot machines, black jack, roulette, craps, keno and other games provide the billions in profits raked in by casinos every year.
In modern times, the mob has largely abandoned its casino interests and the legal business is run by real estate investors and hotel chains. These companies have the deep pockets to out-bid gangsters and to keep federal regulators off their backs. In the 1990s, technology reshaped casinos dramatically. Betting chips have built-in microcircuitry that allows them to be tracked minute-by-minute; electronic systems monitor the results of a roulette wheel, to discover any statistical deviations that might be signs of tampering or fraud; and automated versions of games such as poker or baccarat allow players to push buttons rather than dealing cards or rolling dice.