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What Is a Casino?

What Is a Casino?

Casino is a place where people can gamble and play games of chance. The games include baccarat, blackjack, roulette, poker, craps, and video slots. A casino also serves food and drink, which is often free for players. The casino staff monitors patrons to make sure they are not cheating or stealing. This is usually done by security cameras placed throughout the casino.

Casinos can be found in many places, including Las Vegas and Atlantic City, New Jersey. Several states have legalized gambling in order to gain tourist dollars and increase state revenue. Native American casinos are growing rapidly, as well.

Despite their seamy reputation, casinos are big business. They earn millions of dollars each year from the small percentage of bets they take, known as the house edge. This profit is enough to finance elaborate hotels, fountains, towers, and replicas of famous landmarks. Casinos attract huge numbers of tourists and boost local economies, but they also have the potential to be addictive.

The large amount of money handled in a casino makes it susceptible to cheating and stealing, both by patrons and employees in collusion or independently. Some casinos use specialized cameras to detect hidden microphones or light reflections in the eyes of cheaters, and some have catwalks in the ceiling that allow surveillance personnel to look down at every table, change window, and doorway through one-way mirrors. Other casinos employ more subtle security measures: betting chips have microcircuitry that enable the casino to oversee the exact amounts wagered minute by minute; and roulette wheels are electronically monitored to discover any statistical deviation from their expected results.