A casino is a gambling establishment where customers gamble on games of chance. Casinos are located on land and on the Internet. They offer a variety of games, and are often attached to hotels, restaurants, and shopping malls.
Gambling has been an entertainment staple for centuries. Before the advent of recorded history, gambling was the primary pastime of Europe. In the 16th century, a gambling craze swept the continent, and casinos were created.
Today, the most common casino games are roulette, blackjack, and slot machines. The casino makes money through a commission or a house edge. This advantage is based on the amount the casino expects to win, or lose, from each game.
Casinos usually feature security measures. Employees keep an eye on patrons, and surveillance cameras monitor the entire venue. Table managers also watch to see if players are cheating.
Slot machines and roulette provide billions in profits to U.S. casinos each year. At present, there are over 900,000 slot machines in the United States.
Although casinos have a built-in advantage, the economic gain from casinos is offset by the cost of treating problem gamblers. An estimated five percent of casino patrons are addicted.
During the 1990s, casinos began using technology. For example, computers are used to oversee every table game, and video cameras are set up to monitor the entire venue.
Casinos have also been a target for organized crime figures. Mob money poured into Las Vegas and Reno, and gangsters became personally involved with some casinos. However, federal crackdowns have reduced mob involvement.