The word casino conjures up images of glamorous, buzzing casinos where champagne glasses clink and tourists and locals mingle, creating an incredible energy. Casinos are places where the social aspect of gambling is just as important as trying your luck at games like slots, blackjack, craps, and poker. Unlike Internet or lottery gambling, which can be done solo from the comfort of your own home, a casino is a place where you are surrounded by other people, either interacting directly with other players (as in blackjack) or seated around large tables where the bets can reach into the tens of thousands of dollars.
The casinos make their money by charging a percentage of each bet placed in the casino to cover their operating costs. This amount is known as the house edge, and it gives a slight advantage to the casino in terms of overall profit. This is how the casino can afford to build elaborate hotels, fountains, giant pyramids and towers, and replicas of famous landmarks.
The casino industry focuses much of its attention on encouraging the high rollers to gamble and spend more money than they can afford to lose. In order to lure these big bettors, the casino offers them many “comps,” including free spectacular entertainment, transportation, elegant living quarters, and other inducements. This is how the casino tries to balance the needs of the higher bettors and its need for consistent profitability.