Casinos are places where people play games of chance and in many cases, skill. These games include slot machines, table games (such as blackjack, roulette and baccarat) and poker. Casinos also feature stage shows and other forms of entertainment. Although a modern casino may have a host of luxuries like restaurants, free drinks and lighted fountains that help draw in customers, gambling is the primary activity that brings in billions of dollars for casinos every year.

A casino uses a variety of mathematic formulas to calculate its expected profit margin on each game, or the house edge. These are determined by computer programs and mathematical analysis done by gaming mathematicians and analysts. Casinos are very careful to keep their house edges low so that they can turn a profit. They will often offer large bettors free spectacular entertainment, luxury living quarters and even reduced-fare transportation in order to attract them to the casino.

Some local governments and business leaders tout the economic benefits of casinos by saying that they bring in jobs, boost tourism and lower the unemployment rate. However, it is important to note that many of the jobs created by a casino come from outside of the immediate neighborhood. Moreover, the wages earned by workers in the casino are usually much higher than those of local residents. This means that the overall unemployment rate for the original local population remains unchanged.

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