A casino is a building or room where people can gamble. It also may refer to an establishment that combines gambling with other entertainment such as restaurants and shows.
A casinos main source of income is the money bettors place on games of chance or, as in the case of poker, against other players. Most casino games have a mathematical advantage for the house, which is known as the house edge. The casinos profit from this difference and also rake in revenue from concessions such as food and drinks and from the percentage of winnings paid to players called the vig.
In modern times, casinos have become more upscale and focus on the high rollers who spend much more than average. To lure them in, they offer comps such as free rooms, tickets to shows and other perks.
While flashy lights, opulent decor and lavish attractions draw in the crowds, the casinos would not exist without games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and other popular casino games provide the billions of dollars in profits that casinos earn every year.
In the past, mobster-run casinos were a major source of revenue for organized crime in America but with crackdowns and federal legislation mob influence on casinos has diminished. Now casino owners such as real estate developers and hotel chains have taken over the industry. They have the deep pockets to buy out the mobsters and run their establishments without mob interference.