A casino is a place where people can play games of chance for money. Although many casinos add luxuries like restaurants, free drinks and stage shows to attract customers, they would not exist without the actual gambling activities that give them their billions in profits every year. Slot machines, roulette, poker, blackjack and craps are among the most popular casino games. Each of these games has a built in advantage for the house that can be very small, often less than two percent, but it is enough to provide a steady stream of income that lets casinos build elaborate hotels, fountains and replicas of famous landmarks.
These advantages, however, also make casinos vulnerable to fraud and corruption. The mob has long used casinos as fronts for their illegal business, but with federal crackdowns and the threat of losing a gaming license at even the hint of mafia involvement, legitimate casino businesses have moved in to take control of these lucrative money-making establishments.
The most common casino gambler is a forty-six-year-old woman from a household with above-average income. These women and older men are the target audience for the casinos that have sprung up around the country and in many other countries. They are attracted by the bright lights, noise and excitement of casino gambling, where they can interact with other players and shout encouragement or scream in horror as they try to beat the house. The casinos can vary in size and quality but all are designed for this targeted clientele.