What is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people can play games of chance. A typical casino offers a variety of gambling options, including slot machines and table games such as blackjack, craps and poker. In addition, many casinos offer entertainment and top-notch hotels.

Although musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels draw in the crowds, the vast majority of casino profits come from gambling. Slot machines, roulette and blackjack provide the billions of dollars in income raked in by American casinos each year. Craps draws big bettors and entices casinos to reduce their house advantage to less than 1 percent. The popularity of these games has helped to make casinos worldwide a major source of income.

Gambling is a psychological game, and casinos use a variety of tricks to encourage people to gamble. For example, the noises produced by slots are electronically tuned to the musical key of C to appeal to the human ear; and the bright lights and flashing pictures are designed to attract the attention of passersby. In addition, casinos are awash in smells, with cigarettes, cigar smoke and perfume permeating the air.

While the mob once controlled casinos throughout the United States, federal crackdowns and the fear of losing a gaming license at the slightest hint of mob involvement have driven the gangsters out. As a result, the business of casinos has become increasingly corporate, with many of them owned by hotel chains and real estate investors who have deep pockets.

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