A casino, also called a gaming establishment or simply a casino, is a facility where people can gamble on games of chance. These games include roulette, baccarat, blackjack and poker, as well as sports betting, horse racing, and slot machines. Most casinos offer a wide variety of games, and the majority of their revenue comes from gambling. Other activities in a casino may include dining, entertainment and retail shops.
Casinos are designed to stimulate gambling by creating a festive atmosphere with noise, lights and excitement. Many of them feature a variety of slot machines, keno and other games that appeal to various audiences. Some of them even have a variety of drinks and snacks available for players.
Most casino games have a built-in advantage for the house, which is mathematically determined and uniformly negative from the player’s perspective. The amount of this advantage varies by game and by casino, but it is generally less than two percent. Some games, such as poker, have no house edge and instead earn money for the casino from the rake taken by each player.
In the early days of casino history, organized crime figures controlled most of Nevada’s gaming facilities. Mob money helped build the modern Las Vegas strip and other large casinos in Reno and elsewhere, but it was difficult for legitimate businessmen to get involved because of their seamy image and the risk of federal prosecution. Then real estate investors and hotel chains with deep pockets bought out the mobsters and began running their own casinos independently, without mob interference.