The Dark Side of a Casino


A casino is a place where people come to gamble and play games of chance. Casinos feature a variety of table games, slot machines and poker rooms. They also have a variety of dining options and luxurious accommodations. Casinos are a major source of revenue for many cities and states. They are a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Despite their glamorous exteriors, casinos are not without their dark side. This article takes a look at how casinos make their money, the history behind them and the most popular games.

Casinos rely on noise, light and excitement to attract and keep customers. They often feature bright, sometimes gaudy floor and wall coverings that stimulate and cheer the patrons on. They also do not put clocks on the walls because they believe that seeing a clock might detract from the fun and thrill of gambling.

Although casino gambling is legal in most states, it was illegal for most of the country’s history. When it was first introduced in Nevada in 1931, the industry was financed by organized crime figures who had plenty of cash from extortion, drug dealing and other rackets. Many mob members got personally involved and even took sole or partial ownership of some casinos. This taint on casinos kept them from becoming popular and widespread throughout the United States until the 1980s.

Although musical shows, lighted fountains and lavish hotels help to draw in customers, casinos are mostly driven by the profits of gambling. Most games give the house a mathematical advantage of less than one percent, making it difficult for a patron to win more than they can afford to lose. For this reason, casinos offer big bettors extravagant inducements such as free spectacular entertainment and elegant living quarters in return for their business. They may also offer reduced-fare transportation, food, drinks and limo service to those who spend large amounts of time gambling or playing a particular game.