What is a Casino?


A casino is a building or room where gambling games are played. It is also a term for the business that runs such establishments. Successful casinos bring in billions of dollars each year for the companies, investors, and Native American tribes that own them. Local, state and federal governments also collect revenues from gambling. Casinos range in size from massive resorts to small card rooms. Across the United States, there are more than 200 commercial casinos and nearly 400 tribal casinos. Gambling games include blackjack, roulette, poker, craps, and slot machines.

The casino industry profits from its customers by offering perks intended to encourage patrons to spend more than they plan. These perks are commonly called comps. For example, casinos offer free or discounted shows and meals to big spenders. They may also offer reduced-fare transportation and hotel rooms, as well as cash back on certain bets.

Casinos earn money by charging a percentage of bets placed on their games. The exact amount is based on the game, its rules, and whether skill factor is involved (as in blackjack). In games where players compete against one another, such as poker, casinos make money through a commission known as rake.

Although gambling probably existed before recorded history, the modern casino emerged in the 16th century during a gambling craze in Europe. In Italy, wealthy nobles held private parties at sites called ridotti in which they could gamble and socialize without fear of persecution by the Inquisition.

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