A Casino is a building or room where people can gamble and play games of chance. Despite the glitz, glamour and blazing lights that accompany many casinos, gambling is an activity fraught with risk and pitfalls. It is a complex endeavor that requires careful weighing of risk and reward, wise decisions and a good dose of luck.
While musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and elaborate hotels draw people to casinos, the real money made by most of these establishments comes from games of chance. Slot machines, poker, blackjack and other table games account for the billions of dollars in profits that casinos rake in every year.
Unlike other gambling games, which involve a certain amount of skill or strategy, most casino table games have a built in advantage for the house. This slight advantage can add up to a substantial profit, which the casino spreads out in the form of free spectacular entertainment, lavish transportation and elegant living quarters for the biggest bettors.
Although mobsters once controlled most of the casinos in the United States, real estate investors and hotel chains bought out the mob and now own and operate the majority of the gambling establishments. These companies have the deep pockets necessary to purchase and run large casinos, while maintaining strict standards of privacy. Because they are not required to make the same percentage of profit as a typical gangster, these companies can afford to pay for the best security and gambling equipment.