What is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people can gamble and play games of chance. It is also a social gathering where you can hear music, meet friends and even drink alcohol.

Casinos are a big business, drawing in millions of visitors each year and making billions of dollars in profits. They are often found in cities with a strong tourist presence, such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City. They can also be found on American Indian reservations, which are exempt from state antigambling laws.

While musical shows, lighted fountains and shopping centers help attract visitors, casinos would not exist without gambling. Slot machines, blackjack, poker and other card games are the main sources of revenue for casino owners.

The casino business is based on the mathematical expectation that every game will yield a profit if it is played perfectly. As a result, casinos hire mathematicians who specialize in the analysis of gaming and have a deep understanding of the math behind the various games. These experts are called gaming mathematicians and are responsible for calculating the house edge and variance of all casino games.

The early casino industry was largely controlled by organized crime groups. Mafia money flowed into Reno and Las Vegas, where casino owners sought funds to finance expansion and renovation in hopes of attracting more tourists. As mob control of the industry waned, real estate investors and hotel chains realized they could make huge profits from casinos.

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