What is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people gamble. Originally the term was used to refer to a room in a building that housed gambling activities, but it soon came to mean any place where a game of chance is played for money. Over the years casinos have added a number of amenities to attract gamblers, including restaurants, free drinks and stage shows. Some are so lavish that they are almost their own tourist attractions. Despite these extras, however, all casinos make their money by taking bets from patrons who win more than they lose. Each casino has a built in statistical advantage, sometimes as low as two percent, which is enough to allow them to generate substantial gross profits.

In order to maximize their profits, casinos focus their attention on high rollers, whose bets can amount to tens of thousands of dollars. They offer these patrons extravagant inducements, such as free spectacular entertainment and transportation, as well as elegant living quarters. Casinos also monitor high-rollers’ spending habits closely, so they can quickly detect any suspicious behavior.

During the 1990s, casinos dramatically increased their use of technology to supervise their games and monitor their patrons. Video cameras and computers now routinely watch every table, window, doorway and slot machine. Chips with microcircuitry enable casinos to track exact bets minute by minute, and roulette wheels are electronically monitored regularly to discover any statistical deviations from expected results.

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