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What is a Casino?


A Casino is an establishment that offers a variety of gambling games. In addition to the usual table games and slot machines, many casinos also offer live entertainment and top-notch hotels and spas. A casino can be a great place to relax and enjoy the thrill of gambling, while at the same time supporting your local economy.

In the United States, casinos generate billions in revenue each year through gambling. They would not exist without the many patrons who place bets in their casinos. Musical shows, lighted fountains and elaborate hotel complexes all draw in the crowds, but the main money makers are games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and other games of chance provide the profits that make casinos possible.

Gambling was legalized in Nevada in 1931 and spread rapidly across the country. The word “casino” comes from the Italian for little house, referring to the small private clubs that hosted early gambling games. Today’s casinos are a far cry from these little houses, with state-of-the-art security systems and video cameras to monitor all activities.

Casinos make their money through a mathematical advantage over the average player. This advantage can be very small (less than two percent) but, over the millions of bets placed each day, it adds up. To offset this edge, casinos often give big bettors extravagant inducements to spend their money. These may include free rooms, meals and transportation. Less extravagant comps are given to lower-spending patrons, who may receive free or discounted drinks, food and show tickets.