A casino is a gambling establishment that allows patrons to place bets on various games of chance for money or other prizes. The casino industry is a significant source of revenue for many states and cities. According to the American Gaming Association, about 51 million people—a group that includes nearly one quarter of all Americans over 21—visited casinos in 2002.
Unlike other entertainment centers, casinos are primarily focused on gambling. Their profit margins come from slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and other games of chance that require skill or luck to win. While a plethora of other amenities, such as musical shows, lighted fountains and hotels, may draw in the crowds, most of a casino’s profits are made from games of chance alone.
Because of the large amount of cash handled within a casino, security is a top concern for its staff and patrons alike. Casinos employ a range of measures to prevent cheating and stealing, including cameras in every room. Moreover, staff members are highly trained to notice any suspicious activities and take appropriate action accordingly.
Aside from generating huge profits for their owners, casinos also have a positive impact on their home communities. Studies have shown that they bring in more tax revenue than other entertainment centers and are a major economic boost for the surrounding area. For example, in California, the city of Commerce depends on casino gambling to fund essential community services and local infrastructure projects.