What is a Casino?
A casino is a land-based gambling establishment where people can enjoy gambling entertainment and spend time with others while enjoying drinks or food. These facilities have many games that rely on chance to make money, such as baccarat, blackjack, roulette, craps and video poker.
A casino also offers table games that require some skill such as pai gow, baccarat, and sic bo. Many Asian casinos feature several traditional Far Eastern games such as baccarat (which is a popular choice in American casinos), fan-tan, and pai gow. Some casinos also offer other games of local interest such as two-up in Australia, banca francesa in Portugal, boule in France, and kalooki in Britain.
Unlike slot machines, where payouts are determined randomly by computer chips, all table games have built-in house advantages that ensure the casino will always make a profit. These advantages, known as the house edge, can be mathematically calculated.
In the United States, Las Vegas and Reno are famous for their casinos. Many of the early casinos were financed by organized crime, which was willing to take on the risk because it had already invested in illegal rackets such as drug dealing and extortion. These mobsters often took sole or partial ownership of the casinos they funded, and exerted considerable influence over decisions made by casino managers.
Some casinos reward loyal patrons with comps, or complimentary goods and services such as hotel rooms, dinners, shows or limo service. These are usually given out based on how much a patron gambles and how long they play.