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What is a Casino?

A casino is a gambling establishment that allows players to gamble on games of chance and skill. These games include blackjack, roulette, poker and slot machines. Casinos can be found in massive resorts like Las Vegas, or in small card rooms. Casinos are also found on cruise ships, and in land-based locations such as racetracks, hotels and truck stops. Casinos are a huge industry that brings in billions of dollars each year for the companies, investors, and Native American tribes that operate them.

Casinos earn their profits through the vig, or rake, which is taken from the total amount of money bet on a game. This can be as low as two percent, but it adds up over the millions of bets made every day. In addition, casinos make money from their various games through a statistical advantage, which is called the house edge.

Because of the large amounts of currency that are handled within casinos, cheating and stealing are common occurrences. Because of this, casinos have many security measures in place.

One way that a casino makes sure its players are honest is by giving comps, or free goods and services, to loyal patrons. These perks can range from a free hotel room to limo service and airline tickets. The casino knows that a person who gambles a lot will continue to do so.

Historically, organized crime figures provided the capital to open and run casinos. Mobster money gave casinos a veneer of legitimacy that attracted people from across the country and world to visit them. Later, real estate investors and hotel chains realized the potential of these business ventures and took over from the mafia. Today, federal crackdowns and fear of losing a gaming license at even the slightest hint of mob involvement keeps mob money out of casinos.