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The Dangers of Casino Gambling


A casino, or gaming house, is a facility for certain types of gambling. Casinos are often built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, and other tourist attractions, and may offer live entertainment. Some casinos specialize in one or more types of gambling, such as poker, blackjack, and roulette.

Although musical shows, lighted fountains and shopping centers help draw in the crowds, the billions in profits that casinos rake in each year would not exist without games of chance. Slot machines, keno, baccarat and other table games provide the basis for the gambling that is the lifeblood of a successful casino.

Even the most sophisticated slot machine or roulette wheel has a built-in mathematical expectancy that ensures the house will win on average. Using the skills of computer programmers and mathematicians, casinos regularly analyze their own betting patterns to discover any statistical deviations from expected results. These deviations, known as variance, are then used to help set payout levels and establish game limits.

Casinos are operated by a variety of businesses, including hotel chains, real estate developers and investors, and Native American tribes. The most successful of them generate massive revenues and create jobs for many people. But, despite the glamour and spectacle of the casino, there is a dark side to this form of gambling. Casinos attract millions of gamblers each year, and some of them are sucked into an addiction that costs them their jobs, homes and lives.