The Casino Industry is a Billion-Dollar Business

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A casino is a building that houses one or more games of chance and sometimes skill. In the United States, casinos are located in cities such as Las Vegas and Reno in Nevada and Atlantic City in New Jersey. Casinos also are found at American Indian reservations and on riverboats and in some states on racetracks. The casino industry is a billion-dollar business that generates income for the companies, investors, and Native American tribes that own and operate them. It also brings in billions of dollars each year for state and local governments that collect taxes and other payments from the gambling establishments.

A large part of casino profits comes from high-stakes gamblers. These gamblers spend much more than average and typically are treated with special care by casino employees. They gamble in rooms separate from the main gaming floor and often get free luxury hotel suites, meals at top-rated restaurants, and other expensive perks. Casinos that cater to high rollers can be very lucrative, but they require considerable financial risk for the owners and investors.

The 51 million people who visited casinos in the United States in 2002 generate significant tax revenues for their home communities. These revenues can help local politicians fund necessary community services and avoid spending cuts or increased taxes elsewhere. Casinos have also been shown to increase employment in the neighborhoods that surround them. This growth has been particularly impressive where local economies were previously stagnant.

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