A casino is a gambling establishment, which houses a variety of games of chance and offers its patrons the opportunity to win money or other prizes. While a modern casino might also feature restaurants, shopping centers and stage shows, it would be nothing without the gambling aspect. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and keno are just a few of the many games that can be found at a casino.
A large part of a casino’s revenue comes from the games themselves. Each game has a certain mathematical expectancy that, taken over time, will result in a profit for the casino. To offset this, casinos offer players comps, or free goods and services. These can include free hotel rooms, shows, meals and reduced-fare transportation.
Casinos spend a lot of time and money on security, as they want to ensure that their patrons are not cheating or stealing. A high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” surveillance system allows security workers to watch every table, window and doorway at the same time. Cameras can be adjusted to focus on specific suspicious patrons, and they can even track the movements of players at a table.
In the past, organized crime figures provided a lot of the cash used to run casinos in Reno and Las Vegas. But federal crackdowns and the risk of losing a gaming license at the slightest hint of mob involvement eventually drove legitimate businessmen to invest in casinos. Now, casino owners are often wealthy real estate investors and hotel chains.