A casino, also known as a gaming house or a gambling house, is an establishment for playing various games of chance. Most casinos offer a wide variety of casino games such as craps, roulette, blackjack, baccarat, and video poker. They may also offer other entertainment such as musical shows and staged events like stand-up comedy. Some casinos have hotels and other amenities such as restaurants, shopping areas, and swimming pools.
Most states have laws against casino gambling, although some allow casino-style gambling on American Indian reservations. In the United States, there are over 1,000 casinos. The most profitable of these are located in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Atlantic City, New Jersey.
In the past, many of these gambling facilities were controlled by organized crime groups. Mob money funded a large percentage of the gambling operations in Reno and Las Vegas until federal crackdowns on Mafia activity forced the mobsters out of their gambling businesses. Real estate investors and hotel chains with deep pockets bought out the mobsters and began operating their casinos without Mafia interference.
Casinos make their money by taking a small percentage of all bets placed on their games. These percentages can be as low as two percent, but they add up over time and make it possible for casinos to attract millions of visitors every year. The majority of casino profits are made by the millions of bets placed on games of chance such as slot machines, blackjack, roulette, and baccarat.