A casino is a gambling establishment with table games such as blackjack, roulette, and baccarat, slot machines, and video poker. In addition to the games, casinos often feature restaurants and entertainment events. Casinos are found in many countries and are operated by a variety of business models. The gambling industry is regulated by both state and federal governments. In the United States, casinos are owned by a variety of private businesses including gaming operators, hotel chains, and retail companies. Some states have legalized casinos in order to boost tourism and increase revenue.
While the modern casino adds amenities like free drinks, stage shows and dazzling scenery to attract guests, it would not exist without games of chance and the billions of dollars in profits they generate each year. While some gamblers consider casino games to be a game of skill, the majority are pure chance. The house always has a mathematical edge, whether the casino is offering slots, craps, roulette, baccarat, or blackjack.
While mobsters controlled the original casinos in Las Vegas, real estate investors and hotel chains realized the potential income they could earn from this lucrative venture. These business owners had deeper pockets than the mobsters and bought out their interests, resulting in the elimination of mob influence. However, critics argue that casinos detract from local businesses and are harmful to communities. They also claim that the cost of treating compulsive gambling and lost productivity due to addiction undermine any initial financial gains from casino gambling.