What is a Casino?
A casino is a facility for certain types of gambling. Casinos can be combined with hotels, restaurants, shops and other entertainment facilities. They are usually located in cities with a large population of tourists or near major transport hubs. Casinos are characterized by their large size, impressive decor and variety of games. Some are owned and operated by the city, while others are private businesses.
Most casinos rely on games of chance for their revenue. Most of these games have a mathematical advantage for the house, which is known as the house edge. These advantages are built into the rules of each game. Casinos often make additional revenue by taking a percentage of winnings or charging fees for services such as table rentals, drinks and food.
There is something about large amounts of money that encourages people to cheat and steal, either in collusion with each other or independently. These temptations, coupled with the fact that casinos handle enormous sums of money, necessitate a large expenditure on security.
The first casinos were established over a century ago in places like the elegant spa town of Baden-Baden, which drew royalty and aristocracy from across Europe. In the United States, mobsters supplied the money to build Las Vegas and Reno in the 1950s. But these gangsters were not content with simply providing funds; they wanted to control the operations, own their own casinos and even manipulate the outcomes of games. This gave the casinos a seamy image that made many legitimate businessmen wary of investing in them.