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A casino is a place where people can play games of chance for money. It may sound like a glamorous place—your grandmother might enjoy taking weekend bus trips to the nearest casino with her friends—but there have been much less lavish places that house gambling activities and still be called casinos.

The success of a casino depends on bringing in a large number of visitors who will gamble and spend money. The most successful casinos generate billions of dollars each year for the companies, investors and Native American tribes that own them. They also provide a source of revenue for the states that license them. The term casino also applies to large resorts and small card rooms, and gambling is sometimes permitted at racetracks and on boats or barges moored on waterways.

Since all gambling games have a built in advantage for the casino—sometimes as low as two percent of bets—it’s rare for a casino to lose money on a single day. Casinos make money by combining this expected profit with the costs of providing entertainment and other amenities for patrons.

The perks offered to high rollers (people who wager large amounts of money) are often worth tens of thousands of dollars. Other inducements include reduced-fare transportation and hotel room rates, free dinners and spectacular shows. In addition to these marketing incentives, most states require that casinos display a responsible gambling program and include contact information for specialized support services.