Whether you like to spin the roulette wheel or throw dice at craps tables, casinos are one of the best places to scratch that gambling itch. They also usually offer food, drinks and other non-gambling activities to keep you entertained between sessions on the slot machines or poker tables. And of course, they’re home to plenty of showy backdrops, high-end hotels and other amenities. Whether you’re looking for an elegant experience like the Bellagio in Las Vegas or a more gritty, low-cost option like the pai gow halls of New York City, there’s sure to be a casino in your neighborhood that fits your style.
Those who think gambling is immoral or bad for society might claim that casinos are evil, but those who make their living dealing blackjack or making the occasional big bet at the roulette table can’t argue with the fact that they provide jobs and boost local economies. In addition, studies have shown that gaming enhances a variety of skillsets, including pattern recognition and math abilities.
When gangster money flowed into casinos in Nevada during the 1950s, mobster owners were not afraid to use their funds to invest in the business and to personalize the gambling experience. They took sole or part ownership of casinos, lent their names to them and even threw their weight around by intimidating casino personnel. As the mob’s power waned and the threat of federal crackdowns made it more difficult to maintain a license, legitimate businesses, such as hotel chains and real estate investors, bought out the mobsters and began running their own casinos independently.