The modern casino is a veritable indoor amusement park, but the vast majority of the fun (and billions in profits for casino owners) comes from games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and poker are the games that provide the basis for the huge profits casinos earn every year.
While a few games of skill can be found in some casinos, most are pure luck and have built-in statistical advantages for the house that make them profitable over time. This advantage can be as low as two percent, but it adds up when millions of bets are placed. This advantage is also known as the vig or rake.
Besides gaming, many casinos offer dining, hotels and other amenities that attract people from around the world. The Bellagio in Las Vegas, for example, is renowned for its dancing fountains, upscale restaurants, Hermes and Chanel boutiques and top-notch hotels. It’s no surprise that this casino was featured in the movie Ocean’s 11.
While most casinos are located in Nevada, they can be found throughout the United States and around the world. Some are on American Indian reservations and are exempt from state antigambling laws. During the 1980s, casinos spread to Atlantic City and other locations, and many began opening on riverboats. In 2002, an estimated 51 million people visited casinos, domestically and internationally. These numbers have probably risen since, as many people travel to casinos for special events and vacations.