A casino is a building or room where gambling games are played. The casino industry produces billions of dollars in profits each year for the companies, investors, and Native American tribes that own and operate them. In addition, casinos provide jobs for thousands of people and generate tax revenue for local governments. Some casinos also offer dining, spa services, and entertainment. Casinos range in size from massive resorts to small card rooms, and are located both on land and on cruise ships and boats. Casino-type game machines are also found in racetracks as racinos and in bars, restaurants, truck stops, and grocery stores.
Each casino game has a built-in statistical advantage for the house, called the edge. This advantage can be as low as two percent, but over time it adds up to enough money for casinos to build towers, pyramids, fountains, and replicas of famous landmarks. Casinos earn a percentage of the bets placed on their games as their profit, which is known as the vig or rake.
To increase their profits, casinos regularly offer free or discounted goods and services to gamblers. These are referred to as comps, and they can include hotel rooms, meals, show tickets, and even airline tickets for big bettors. Security staffers keep their eyes on patrons to spot blatant cheating, such as palming, marking, or switching dice or cards. Pit bosses and table managers watch over tables with a more general view, making sure players don’t tamper with their bets.