What is a Casino?


The word casino conjures up images of massive Las Vegas resorts, but casinos are much more than neon lights and games of chance. They are businesses that rake in billions of dollars each year for the corporations, investors, and even Native American tribes that own them. They also provide jobs and taxes to state and local governments. And, of course, they offer the gambler a chance to lose large sums of money while experiencing excitement and fun.

In the United States, a casino is a building or room where gambling is legalized and operated under state and federal regulations. Most casinos feature a variety of table and machine games such as blackjack, roulette, craps, poker, video poker, and more. Many offer a mixture of luck and skill, although most games have a predetermined long-term house advantage over the players. This advantage, known as the house edge or vigorish, can be reduced by players who possess sufficient skills.

Unlike most other forms of gambling, where patrons place bets and win or lose according to chance alone, the game of casino gambling is often controlled by the croupiers. Consequently, a high degree of training is required for these dealers to ensure fair play and maintain customer satisfaction.

The elegant spa town of Baden-Baden first hosted casino gambling in 1873, drawing royalty and aristocrats from across Europe. Since that time, the industry has become one of the largest in the world. Despite the high stakes, most casino gamblers are not millionaires. In fact, a survey conducted for the Nevada Gaming Commission in 2008 found that only 30% of casino gamblers had earned at least some college education and 20% had a graduate degree.

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