What is a Casino?


A Casino is a gambling establishment where people play games of chance for money. It may have additional features like restaurants, free drinks and stage shows, but the basic concept is gambling. Gambling in some form has been a part of almost every society throughout history. Modern casinos have grown to be elaborate entertainment complexes, but the original purpose was to offer a way for the wealthy to escape from reality for a while.

Most casinos are heavily guarded to protect against cheating and theft, especially of the high stakes chips used in table games. Security is usually divided between a physical security force that patrols the casino and a specialized surveillance department. Modern casinos use technology to monitor game play as well. For example, chip tracking allows them to oversee exactly how much each player is betting minute-by-minute and warns dealers immediately if the bet patterns are suspicious; roulette wheels are electronically monitored to discover statistical deviations quickly.

In the United States, the casino industry has expanded at a staggering rate as tourists from all over the world flock to the glamorous strip in Nevada and Atlantic City. But casinos have been criticized for damaging local economies by diverting business away from other forms of entertainment and for contributing to gambling addictions, which cost taxpayers through lost productivity and treatment costs. Many economists also point to the fact that local casinos rarely return any positive economic benefits to their communities.

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