What Is a Casino?


A Casino is a place to gamble. The etymology of the word goes back to Italy where it originally pointed to something as simple as a villa or summerhouse, but the modern casino is like an indoor amusement park for adults with gambling providing most of the fun (and profits for the owners). While the flashing lights, lighted fountains, musical shows and shopping centers draw in the crowds, casinos would not exist without games of chance such as slots, blackjack, roulette, poker, craps, baccarat and more. These games of chance provide the billions in profits raked in by U.S. casinos each year.

Casinos are located all over the world. Some are elegant such as the one in the spa town of Baden-Baden, Germany, which began drawing royalty and aristocracy 150 years ago. Others are glitzy and flashy, such as the one in Las Vegas.

Slot machines are the economic lifeblood of many casinos, and generate a greater percentage of total revenue than any other game. Players simply put in money, pull a handle or push a button and watch the bands of colored shapes roll on reels (either physical ones or video representations). The pay-out is predetermined by on-board computer chips.

A casino’s built-in statistical advantage can be very small, lower than two percent, but it adds up over time from millions of bets. It’s enough to make some casinos spend wildly on dazzling hotels, towers and replicas of famous landmarks.

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