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What Is a Casino?

A casino, sometimes called a gaming house or a gambling hall, is a place where people can play games of chance for money. In the United States, casinos generate billions of dollars in profits each year for the companies, investors, and Native American tribes that operate them. Casinos are often located in or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, and other entertainment venues. They also may be found on cruise ships, at racetracks to create racinos, and in other places where gambling is legal.

Modern casinos are like indoor amusement parks for adults. They feature lavish decorations, dazzling lights, and thrilling slot machines and table games. Many of these games, however, are based on luck and the odds are always stacked in favor of the house. The casinos earn the bulk of their revenue from high-stakes gamblers, known as “high rollers.” These patrons are offered special rooms and services to encourage them to spend big. They may be given free luxury suites, meals, and transportation in addition to the money they bet.

A casino’s security begins on the floor, where employees keep their eyes on patrons and the tables to ensure that everything is going as it should. Observed patterns make it easier for security to spot cheating, such as palming or marking cards, switching dice, and manipulating the outcome of a game. Security personnel also pay attention to the betting patterns of patrons to prevent them from placing bets they are not supposed to.