A casino is a building that houses games of chance and the act of gambling. The glitz and glamor of a modern casino helps draw in customers, but slots, blackjack, craps, roulette and other table games are the mainstay that make up the billions in profits casinos pull in each year.
Modern casinos are a sophisticated blend of entertainment, luxury and science. In addition to a dazzling array of slot machines and table games, many have restaurants and stage shows. Some even offer limo service and airline tickets to frequent visitors.
Some studies suggest that compulsive gamblers generate a large percentage of casino revenues and hurt local economies. Gambling addictions cause people to spend money on things they should not and can lead to family, job, health and legal problems. Some people even lose their homes. In general, gambling hurts property values in communities and reduces the amount of money spent on other entertainment activities.
Something about the nature of gambling encourages people to cheat, steal and scam their way to a jackpot, or at least try to. Because of this, casinos devote a lot of time, effort and money to security.
During the Mobster days in Reno and Las Vegas, organized crime figures had plenty of cash from drug dealing, extortion and other illegal activities to finance casinos. But federal crackdowns and the threat of losing a gaming license at even a whiff of mob involvement forced legitimate businessmen to invest in casinos, too.