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What Is a Casino?


A casino is a public place where games of chance are played. While musical shows, restaurants, shopping centers and dramatic scenery help lure in gamblers, casinos would not exist without games of chance such as slot machines, blackjack, craps, roulette and baccarat. The billions of dollars in profits raked in by the modern casino are largely due to these games.

Casinos are also known for offering “comps” or complimentary goods and services to their best players. These can include anything from free hotel rooms and meals to show tickets and limo service. High rollers, gamblers who spend a great deal of money at the casino, are usually given special treatment and earn comps worth thousands of dollars per visit.

In the past, many of the largest casinos in America were built by mobsters. As organized crime figures accumulated plenty of cash from drug dealing, extortion and other illegal rackets, they invested in casinos. Some even took sole or partial ownership of casinos and influenced the outcome of games with threats of violence to casino personnel.

Nowadays, casinos are more choosy about their investments and focus on attracting high rollers who spend more than the average player. They often operate in special rooms separated from the main gambling floor and have dedicated dealers who cater to their needs. The typical casino gambler is a forty-six year old woman from a household with above average income. A survey conducted by Roper Reports GfK NOP and the U.S. Gaming Panel by TNS found that the average American adult who visits a casino is a forty-six year old female who has above-average income and vacation time available.