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A casino is a building that accommodates gambling. Customers may gamble by playing slot machines or other games of chance and some skill (e.g., craps, roulette - for more see casino games). Game rules usually have mathematically determined odds built in that ensure the house retains an advantage over the players. It is called the edge. Payout is the percentage given to players. Some statistically even games may take a commission or tax on bets customers make against each other (e.g., poker, pai gow, baccarat). Casinos are often combined with or near hotels, restaurants and other vacation attractions to encourage long stays.

The term originally meant a small villa, summerhouse or pavilion built for pleasure, usually on the grounds of a larger Italian villa or palazzo. There are examples of such casinos at Villa Giulia and Villa Farnese. During the 19th century, the term casino came to include other more public buildings where pleasurable activities, chiefly gambling, took place. An example of this building is the Newport Casino. Eventually this term in Italian now designates a bordello (also called "casa chiusa" literally "closed house"), while the gambling house is spelled casinò with an accent.

Famous casinos are located in:

Heavy concentrations of casinos in the United States are in Las Vegas, Nevada, Reno, Nevada, and Atlantic City, New Jersey. There are also numerous casinos throughout the country owned by Native American tribes. Foxwoods Resort Casino, owned by the Mashantucket Pequots, with a 315,000 square foot (29,000 m²) casino in a 4.7 million square foot (437,000 m²) resort claims to be the largest resort casino in the world (as of 2004).

See also

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