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What Is a Casino?


A casino is a large building or room where people can play gambling games. These games include slot machines, keno, craps and roulette. Casinos make money by taking a small percentage of bets. In the United States, most casinos are located in Nevada and Atlantic City. They often feature musical shows and lighted fountains. They also offer food and drinks, such as alcoholic beverages and snacks. The casinos attract tourists and locals alike.

The modern casino is a complex mix of entertainment, dining, retail and gambling. It’s also a gathering place for groups and individuals to relax and socialize. While music and light shows help draw in the crowds, casinos rely on games of chance for the billions in profits they rake in every year.

Casinos can be dangerous places, and there’s a dark side to the business. Cheating and stealing by patrons, either in collusion or on their own, are a constant danger. To prevent these activities, casinos are equipped with elaborate security measures. Security cameras that provide a high-tech “eye in the sky” can be adjusted to focus on specific patrons, and they are often recorded so that the casino can review the tapes if something goes wrong.

Despite their dark sides, many casinos are run by legitimate businesses. The mob may have once controlled them, but federal crackdowns and the possibility of losing their gambling licenses at the slightest hint of Mafia involvement have forced the gangsters out. Today, the casinos are largely owned by hotel chains and real estate investors with deep pockets.