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What Is a Casino?

What Is a Casino?

A casino is a gambling establishment that offers various games of chance for money. It is one of the most popular types of tourist attractions and can be found in many cities around the world. Some casinos are combined with hotels, restaurants, resorts and other tourist attractions. Others are stand-alone. In addition to gambling, casinos often feature entertainment such as shows and concerts.

In the United States, the largest concentration of casinos is in Las Vegas, Nevada, although there are some in other cities such as Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Chicago. Some casinos are also located in Native American tribal lands. Until the 1950s, legitimate businessmen were reluctant to get involved with casinos because of their association with organized crime. The mafia provided the necessary capital to develop the industry, and mobster figures took sole or partial ownership of many casinos. The resulting growth of the casino business has been partly responsible for a shift in the economic balance of power away from the traditional manufacturing and service sectors toward leisure activities and tourism.

Because of the large amounts of money handled within a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal. As a result, the vast majority of casinos have extensive security measures in place. These include a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department that uses closed circuit television (CCTV) to monitor activity in the casino.

Gambling is a dangerous business. Although luck plays a major role in the outcome of most casino games, there is still a significant house edge built into each game. This advantage, which is known as the house edge, ensures that the casino will make a profit over time. To offset this edge, casinos offer free or reduced-fare transportation, hotel rooms, show tickets and other inducements to big bettors.