What Is a Casino?

A casino is a place where people can play a variety of gambling games. Casinos often add other elements to draw in customers, such as restaurants, free drinks and stage shows, but they would not exist without the games of chance. Casinos generate billions of dollars in profits each year, making them one of the most profitable entertainment industries.

In the United States casinos are usually located in commercial districts and often combined with hotels, resorts, shopping centers and other attractions. The largest concentration of casinos is in Las Vegas, with a second large cluster in Atlantic City and a smaller one in Chicago. Many Native American tribes operate casinos in the United States as well.

Casinos offer a wide variety of games of chance and sometimes skill, with the house always having a slight advantage over the players. Some of the more popular games are blackjack, video poker, roulette and craps. Casinos also have strict security measures to deter theft and cheating, both by employees and patrons. For example, the routines of a game’s dealing and the location of betting spots on a table are observed carefully by security personnel.

Throughout the twentieth century, casinos have focused on high rollers—gamblers who spend more money than average. These customers receive a wide array of complimentary goods and services, known as comps, including free hotel rooms, meals, show tickets and even limo service and airline tickets. Because of the large amounts of money handled, casinos must be especially vigilant against thieves and cheats.

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