What is a Casino?
A casino is a place where people can gamble and play games of chance. It’s also where many of the world’s most popular gambling games are found. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette and craps are a few of the games that make casinos so profitable. The history of gambling dates back to ancient times, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice appearing in archaeological sites. Modern casinos are often elaborate entertainment complexes, complete with lighted fountains, shopping centers and luxurious hotels. Casinos also offer a variety of dining options, and some even feature live shows and themed attractions.
While musical shows and dazzling fountains attract patrons, the billions of dollars a year that casinos rake in come from gambling. Every game in a casino has a built-in statistical advantage for the house, which can be as low as two percent in games like poker and as high as 25 percent in slots. The casino gains money by charging a fee to players who lose, called a “vig” or rake.
Because of the large amounts of cash handled in casinos, security is a major concern. In addition to manned surveillance cameras, casinos employ sophisticated surveillance systems that provide a high-tech eye in the sky. Despite these measures, something about gambling (maybe it’s the large amount of money involved) encourages cheating and stealing by patrons and staff.
Although some states have banned casino gambling, it remains legal in Nevada and on American Indian reservations, which are exempt from state antigambling laws. The Las Vegas Valley has the largest concentration of casinos in the United States, followed by Atlantic City, New Jersey and Chicago. The popularity of gambling has led to the growth of casinos worldwide.