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A casino is a place where people play games of chance for money. The games are regulated by state law. Often, casinos add other features to attract customers. They might have restaurants, free drinks, and stage shows. In some cases, the extras might even be a requirement to gamble.

The word casino is derived from the French word for “house.” In modern use, it refers to a public room where gambling is permitted and where games of chance are played. Casinos are found worldwide, in everything from luxurious resorts to small card rooms. They are operated by many different kinds of organizations, including corporations, investors, and Native American tribes. Successful casinos bring in billions of dollars each year for their owners and shareholders. They also generate taxes and other revenue for local governments.

Security is an enormous part of casino operations. In addition to guards and surveillance cameras, casino employees regularly monitor games. For example, table managers watch over table games with a wide view to ensure patrons aren’t cheating by palming, marking, or switching cards or dice. Pit bosses keep track of the amount of money each table is winning or losing and can quickly spot unusual betting patterns that might indicate cheating.

Casinos have built-in advantages that ensure they will win, on average, over time. This advantage, known as the house edge or variance, is calculated by gaming mathematicians and computer programmers. These calculations are critical to a casino’s financial health and are routinely audited by independent third parties.