What is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people can play a variety of games of chance. It may have a number of other features like restaurants, free drinks, stage shows or dramatic scenery, but the basic idea is that gambling is the primary activity of its patrons. Casinos also provide a lot of jobs which help keep people off the unemployment line and a significant amount of tax revenue.

In the early days of casino ownership, the mob dominated the business. But as real estate investors and hotel chains got their hands on casinos they pushed out the mobsters. They were aided in this effort by federal crackdowns and the threat of losing their gaming license at any hint of Mafia involvement. Today most casinos are run by large corporations with deep pockets and no interest in mob interference.

The house edge in a casino game is the mathematical expectancy that the house will win, given enough time and bets. Because of this advantage, it is rare for a casino to lose money on its games. As a result, the house usually keeps more than it gives out in winnings. To help offset the house edge, casinos offer a variety of inducements to big bettors including free spectacular entertainment, transportation and elegant living quarters. Even lesser bettors are offered comps like free food and drink, hotel rooms, show tickets or limo service.

The most successful casino films are those that can entice viewers into the fantasy world of the casino and keep them coming back even though they know the house always wins. This is a tough trick to pull off but some producers have managed it. Sharon Stone is the best example.