The modern casino is like an indoor amusement park for adults, with the vast majority of entertainment (and profits for the owners) coming from gambling. Slot machines, black jack, roulette, craps, keno and baccarat provide the billions of dollars in profit that casinos rake in every year. Musical shows, lighted fountains and shopping centers help draw in the crowds, but casinos would not exist without games of chance.
While many casinos offer a wide variety of games, there are some that specialize in particular types of gambling, such as Asian-style games. These include sic bo (which spread to several European and American casinos in the 1990s), fan-tan, and pai gow. Many Asian casinos also offer traditional Far Eastern games, such as two-up and baccarat.
Besides the games themselves, casinos also make their money by charging players for the use of their facilities. This charge is known as the vig or rake, and it can be as high as two percent of a player’s bet. This revenue is used to fund the hotels, fountains, pyramids and towers that make up much of the modern casino landscape.
Casinos attract gamblers with their glamorous entertainment options, luxurious accommodations and exciting activities, but they can also be dangerous. Gambling addiction is a serious problem and has been linked to everything from violent crime to lower home values. In this article we’ll take a look at how casinos operate, popular casino games and some of the more controversial aspects of the business.