What is a Casino?

A casino is a public room or building where gambling games like roulette, blackjack, poker and slot machines are played. Casinos often add other elements to appeal to customers, including restaurants, free drinks and stage shows. The term casino can also refer to an establishment that specializes in certain types of gambling, such as a racing track or a ski resort.

Casinos are staffed with employees who supervise all aspects of the business. The employee hierarchy varies depending on the size of the casino. At the top of the pyramid are managers, followed by department managers and then frontline employees who interact with patrons. These employees may be dealers, table game attendants or slot attendants. In addition, some casinos employ full-time security personnel to patrol the premises.

The casino business grew rapidly in the 1960s as American state laws changed to allow legalized gambling. During this time, mob money flowed into Reno and Las Vegas casinos. Mobster investors were attracted to the high stakes, quick returns and low overhead of casinos. They provided the funds for expansion and renovation as well as taking sole or partial ownership of the casinos.

A casino has a built-in advantage in every wager, known as the house edge. This advantage makes it almost impossible for a patron to win more than the amount they bet. This guarantee of gross profit allows casinos to offer big bettors extravagant inducements such as free spectacular entertainment, luxurious living quarters and reduced-fare transportation.

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