A casino is a gambling establishment that offers players a variety of games and entertainment. From slots to table games like blackjack and poker, many casinos also offer a wide range of other amenities, including top-notch hotels, spas, restaurants, and live entertainment. The Bellagio in Las Vegas is famous for its fountain show and luxury accommodations, but it’s not the only casino to have made it into the history books – other famous casinos include the Monte-Carlo in Monaco, Casino Lisboa in Lisbon, and more.

The casino business was once the domain of organized crime figures. Mob money funded Reno and Las Vegas casinos in the 1950s, and gangsters often took sole or partial ownership of these businesses. However, federal crackdowns on extortion and other illegal rackets forced mobster investors to turn to legitimate businessmen who could afford the high cost of running a casino. This led to the rise of casino corporations. Today, large hotel companies and real estate investment firms run casinos.

The biggest draw to a casino is the chance to win big. While musical shows and lighted fountains help draw in the crowds, casinos would not exist without the billions of dollars that players risk on games of chance every year. While the house edge in casino games is small (lower than two percent), it adds up over time and millions of bets. This profit is known as the vig or rake, and it’s what keeps casinos in business and able to build extravagant hotels, towers, pyramids, and replicas of landmarks around the world.