What is a Casino?

A casino is a place where people can gamble by playing games of chance or skill. Some of the most popular games in a casino include craps, roulette and blackjack. The casinos offer a variety of amenities to lure customers, such as free drinks and stage shows.

In the early years of casino gambling, organized crime groups supplied the money to establish casinos in Reno and Las Vegas. But mobster money had a taint attached to it, and federal crackdowns have kept legitimate businessmen away from these gambling cash cows. Today, real estate investors and hotel chains have deeper pockets, and they are willing to spend enormous sums of money to run casinos.

Every game of chance has a built in statistical advantage for the house, which is called the house edge. This advantage can be lower than two percent, but it is enough to generate large profits over time. These profits are then used for elaborate hotel facilities, fountains, towers and replicas of famous landmarks. Some casinos even have catwalks in the ceiling, allowing surveillance personnel to look down, through one way glass, on the activities of players at the tables and on slot machines.

Because of their virtual assurance of gross profit, casinos concentrate their investments on high rollers, or those who bet a lot of money. These gamblers are given complimentary items, or comps, that can be worth thousands of dollars, such as free hotel rooms, dinners, shows and limo service.