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What Is a Casino?

A casino is a gambling establishment that offers games of chance and skill. Successful casinos bring in billions of dollars each year for the companies, investors, and Native American tribes that own and operate them. In addition, many state and local governments reap tax revenues from the gambling industry. Casino-type game machines are also found at racetracks, in some truck stops, and in bars and restaurants.

Most casino games have a built-in, long-term advantage for the house, known as the house edge or vigorish. Some games, such as blackjack, allow players to eliminate the house edge by acquiring certain skills. Such players are known as advantage players. Casinos often offer incentives to gamblers, in the form of free drinks and food. They may also give players points that can be exchanged for free slot play or for cash. The accumulated point totals of individual players are tracked by casino computers. This information allows the casinos to reward their highest-spending patrons with free or discounted meals, rooms, show tickets, and other prizes.

Some casinos have special settings that enhance the atmosphere. For example, the famous Caesars Palace casino on the Las Vegas Strip is designed to resemble a Roman palace. It has hosted famous entertainers like Frank Sinatra and Liberace, as well as numerous world championship boxing matches. It is a popular tourist destination, and it was featured in the 2001 film Ocean’s Eleven. The famous German casino at Baden-Baden is another landmark, with its Belle Epoch architecture and ornate interior design.