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What Is a Casino?

A casino is a gambling establishment, usually a small building, that serves as a gathering place for people to play games of chance and win money. The games of chance that are played in casinos include poker, blackjack, roulette, craps and slot machines. Some casinos specialize in one game or another. Casinos make their money by charging an advantage to players, known as vig or rake. This advantage may be as low as two percent, but over time it can add up to a substantial amount of money for the casino.

Many casinos are located in cities with large populations where gambling is legal, such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Many casinos also operate on the Internet. Many of these online casinos accept a variety of payment methods, including credit cards, e-transfers and even vouchers. Some also offer live dealer gaming, wherein players interact with a real person via video stream.

Besides offering gambling, casinos typically provide food and drinks, particularly alcoholic beverages, to their patrons. They often feature a noisy, flashy environment designed to entice gamblers into spending money. In many casinos, patrons can exchange accumulated comp points for free meals or show tickets.

The casino industry is prone to fraud, which may be committed by either patrons or employees. Since the vast amounts of money handled in casinos make them a target for criminals, most casinos use security measures to prevent cheating and theft. For example, some casinos employ specialized cameras that record the movement of money from and to the tables.