A casino is a place where people can gamble on games of chance. These games may include slot machines, table games like blackjack and poker, and even bingo or scratch-cards. Some casinos offer a wide selection of different games, while others specialize in certain types of gambling. Casinos also often provide entertainment, such as stage shows and other special events. In addition, many casinos serve as a hotel or resort, and may be combined with other tourist attractions such as restaurants and shopping centers.
While casino gambling was once the domain of mobster gangsters, legitimate businessmen soon realized that casinos offered a lucrative source of revenue. Real estate investors and hotel chains soon bought out the Mafia-controlled casinos, and federal crackdowns on even the slightest hint of mob involvement have kept organized crime out of most Las Vegas and Reno casinos.
There is one thing about casino gambling that should always be remembered: the house almost always wins. Most casino games have built-in advantages for the house, which are mathematically determined and referred to as the “house edge.”
A casino’s security measures start with its employees, who watch over patrons to make sure they don’t cheat or steal. Dealers keep a close eye on the cards they deal, and can quickly spot blatant tactics such as palming or marking them. Table managers and pit bosses have a wider view of the games, and can spot patterns of betting that might signal cheating.