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What is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people can gamble and play games of chance. These casinos have a lot to offer and people enjoy going there. They can try out new games and even learn how to play them from the experienced players. The casino is also a place to socialize and meet high class people. People can even get free drinks and food while playing the games at these casinos.

While musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels help lure customers, the vast majority of casino profits are derived from gambling. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and poker provide the billions of dollars in profits that casinos rake in every year.

Until recently, casinos were run by mafia figures or mob-linked corporations. Mob money flowed steadily into Reno and Las Vegas, where casinos were illegal in most other states. Mobster investors became personally involved, bought sole or partial ownership of some casinos and even influenced the outcomes of games through threats to casino personnel. Federal crackdowns and the risk of losing a gaming license at even the slightest hint of mob involvement now keep the mobsters away from casinos.

Most casinos have mathematically determined odds that ensure the house has an advantage over the customers. This advantage, which can be compared to the odds of a coin flipping heads or tails, is called the house edge. Some casinos have lower house edges than others; for example, French casinos reduce their advantage to less than 1 percent to attract small bettors, while American casino poker rooms require a higher profit margin to attract big bettors.