A casino is a place where a variety of games of chance are played. While casinos add a number of luxuries to help draw in customers, such as restaurants, free drinks and stage shows, they are essentially places where gambling is the primary activity. Given that large amounts of money are involved, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently, so casinos spend a lot of time, effort and money on security. This includes cameras, although the more subtle aspect is that many casino games have routines and patterns that make them easier to detect when someone deviates from them.

Casinos are a major source of revenue for some states. However, critics argue that they erode local economies by diverting money away from other forms of entertainment and by reducing productivity; and that they also generate significant costs associated with addiction treatment and lost incomes of gambling addicts.

Some state gaming control boards or commissions create rules and regulations based on state laws for both land-based and online casinos. Other state and tribal governments also regulate casino operations within their jurisdictions. In addition, many states prohibit anyone on a federal or state self-exclusion list from playing in a casino. Other restrictions on who can play in a casino vary by state. Some only allow residents of the state to gamble, while others open their doors to anyone who meets age and other requirements.