A casino is a building that houses gambling activities. It may add restaurants, entertainment and other luxury features to help attract customers but the most important aspect is the games of chance that it hosts. It is these that earn casinos the billions of dollars they rake in every year.
The mathematical advantage that the casino has over the player on any given bet is called the house edge. Casinos also earn revenue through the “handle” or total drop which is the amount of money dropped into a game like blackjack or craps. This number is found on a metal box attached to the game table that all bills and markers (credit slips) are dropped into.
While these advantages ensure the casino’s profitability, they are not enough to keep it afloat without other inducements. The most enticing of these are the comps that players receive for their large bets. These include free hotel rooms, dinners and tickets to shows for high rollers. For smaller bettors, casinos offer reduced-fare transportation, food and drinks while they gamble and other amenities.
The success of Martin Scorsese’s mafia epic Goodfellas gave rise to a spiritual sequel, Casino, written and directed by Scorsese and featuring two stars from that film, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. In a moment when violent, profane crime seemed to be on the rise, Casino tapped into a public craving for stories of organized criminal grift. The movie is not a triumph of bravura set design or pyrotechnics but a thoughtfully rendered cautionary tale that is nonetheless a thrill to watch.