The Economic Backbone of a Casino

A casino is a special entertainment center that houses and accommodates certain types of gambling activities. While musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels help attract visitors, casinos would not exist without the games of chance that provide the billions in profits they rake in each year. Here’s a look at how casinos make their money, the history of the business, what you can expect to see when you visit one and how they stay safe.

While the precise origin of gambling is unclear, it is believed that it has been around for thousands of years in a variety of forms. From the ancient Mesopotamia to Napoleon’s France, Elizabethan England and the modern United States, casinos have been an integral part of the gaming industry.

Casinos have long attracted organized crime mobs, who provided the bankroll for these businesses. Mobster money helped turn Las Vegas into a mecca of organized crime, with mobster owners taking sole or partial ownership of many casinos and exerting control over casino operations. Eventually, real estate investors and hotel chains realized the huge profits that could be made by casinos, buying out the mobsters and establishing their own casino empires.

Gambling is the economic backbone of most casinos, with slot machines and blackjack accounting for a significant percentage of their revenue. Craps attracts big bettors, while roulette and baccarat draw small players. Despite their high house edge, these games bring in massive amounts of money. Casinos also offer big bettors extravagant inducements such as free spectacular entertainment, reduced-fare transportation and elegant living quarters.

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