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What is a Casino?


A casino is a place where a variety of gambling games can be played. The most common games are card games, table games and slots. Casinos often include a range of other entertainment options such as restaurants, bars and live entertainment.

In the United States, casinos are largely located in cities with large populations of people who enjoy gambling. The largest concentration of casinos is in the Las Vegas Valley, followed by Atlantic City and Chicago. Casinos are also found on Indian reservations. In Europe, licensed and regulated gambling clubs operate casinos.

The casinos earn their money by charging a percentage of each game’s bet to the players. This is called the house edge, and it is usually very small (less than two percent). Casinos also make a great deal of money from slot machines, which earn them a large proportion of their overall revenue. A player puts in a coin or paper ticket, pulls a handle or pushes a button, and watches as varying bands of colored shapes roll on reels (physical or video). When the right pattern appears, the player wins a predetermined amount of money.

Originally, casinos were mob-controlled enterprises. As the business became more profitable, mob leaders began to lose interest in running their own gambling operations, and legitimate businesses such as hotel chains and real estate investors bought out the mobsters. The threat of losing a gaming license at the slightest hint of mafia involvement keeps the mob out of most casino operations today.