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What is a Casino?

A casino is a place where gambling activities take place. While modern casinos may include a variety of entertainment features like restaurants, stage shows and dramatic scenery to draw in customers, they are fundamentally places where patrons wager money against the house. Gambling activities can include anything from keno to baccarat and roulette. While skill is involved in some of these games, the vast majority of games are decided by chance, and most have built-in advantages that ensure the house wins over the players. These advantages, called the house edge, are based on mathematical probabilities.

While many people associate casinos with Las Vegas, there are in fact casinos in many cities throughout the world. In the United States, the first legal casinos opened in the late 1980s when several American states amended their antigambling laws to permit casino gambling. During this time, casinos also began to open on American Indian reservations where they were not subject to state antigambling laws.

A casino is a business, and like any other business it needs to earn revenue. While musical shows and lighted fountains help bring in the dollars, it is the games of chance that make up the bulk of the billions that casinos generate in annual profits. Slot machines, roulette, craps, blackjack and baccarat are the games that provide the entertainment and the billions that casinos rake in every year. But how do these establishments stay afloat? In this article we will explore how casinos make their money, the history behind them and what it is that keeps gamblers coming back for more.