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What is a Casino?

A casino (also called a gambling house or casino) is an establishment that allows patrons to gamble. It may also offer food and drinks, and a place to stay. Casinos are often built near or combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops, and cruise ships. Some states have legalized casinos, while others have banned them or restricted their operations.

Most modern casinos are built in exotic locations or theme parks and have lavish interior decorations, lighted fountains and statues, and elaborate themes. The majority of casino profits, however, are generated by games of chance, such as slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and poker. These games have a mathematical advantage for the casino, known as the house edge, which can be as low as two percent in some cases, but over time this translates to billions of dollars in profit for the casinos.

Modern casinos rely heavily on technology for security purposes, as well as to assist with the running of the gambling operations. Video cameras monitor the gaming floor and gambling areas, electronic systems track the amounts wagered minute-by-minute in table games, and computerized monitoring of roulette wheels and dice reveals quickly any deviation from expected outcomes.

To maximize profit, casinos try to attract high rollers by offering them perks such as free hotel rooms and show tickets. These comps are designed to entice players to spend more money than they would otherwise, and casinos are choosy about which high rollers they accept.