From the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas strip to the bustling gambling houses of New York City, casinos are where money, chance and luck collide. These decadent temples of temptation feature opulent furnishings, high-tech games and live entertainment—but at their core, casinos are all about the churning of chips. Casinos rake in billions of dollars in profits each year by pitting luck against fate on games of chance like blackjack, roulette and slot machines. In this article, Hopper takes a look at what casinos are all about and how they operate, including how they make their money.
Gambling is not only a popular pastime for people from all walks of life but also a major source of revenue and tax revenue in some countries. In addition to casinos, there are other places that offer gambling such as sportsbooks and racetracks.
The most common way that casinos make their money is through the house edge built into the games offered. Every game has a mathematical advantage for the casino that can be as low as two percent. This advantage, combined with bets placed by gamblers, gives the casino a consistent positive expected value. In games such as poker where players compete against each other, the house also takes a rake.
While casinos have a long history of being a place where people can gamble, they are not always a legitimate business. In the past, casinos were often owned by organized crime groups that used them to launder money from other illegal activities. This gave casinos a seamy image that some people still find unpleasant. Today, however, most casinos are run by well-established corporations.