A casino is a place where people can play games of chance for money. Most casinos are elaborate, flashy places that offer a wide range of gambling activities, as well as restaurants, bars, stage shows and luxurious hotels. They also spend a lot of time and money on security. Because large sums of money are handled inside casinos, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal. Casinos therefore take a variety of precautions to prevent this, including security cameras located throughout the premises and rules that require players to keep their cards visible at all times.
A few years after Nevada legalized gambling, mafia figures saw that the new business had a potential to bring in big bucks. They invested heavily in Reno and Las Vegas, taking sole or partial ownership of many casinos. Mob money poured into the gambling business, giving it a reputation for being seamy. Legitimate businessmen were reluctant to get involved in casinos, which carried the taint of shady dealings.
The most famous casino in the world is probably the Bellagio in Las Vegas, although the Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monaco and the Casino Lisboa in Lisbon are also renowned. Some casinos are designed to blend in with their surroundings, such as the Casino Baden-Baden in Germany, which is housed in a beautiful old spa town. Others are more designed to be eye-catchers, such as the Paris Las Vegas. Bright, sometimes gaudy floor and wall coverings are used to stimulate the senses and make it difficult for gamblers to keep track of the time.