A casino (also called a gambling house or gaming hall) is an establishment where people can gamble and play games of chance or skill. Casinos are most often located in resorts, cruise ships or other tourist attractions, and they may also be found in cities with large numbers of people who enjoy gambling, such as Las Vegas.
In the United States, casinos are licensed and regulated by state governments. Most of them offer slot machines, table games like blackjack and roulette, and poker. Some also have sports betting and pari-mutuel horse racing. There are also legal online casinos.
Most casino games have a built-in advantage for the house, which is known as the house edge or expected value. This advantage ensures that the casino will make a profit, regardless of the outcome of individual bets. In addition, the house collects a small percentage of each bet, which is referred to as rake. Consequently, it is very rare for a casino to lose money on its games.
Casinos rely on customer service to drive revenue and attract new patrons. They provide perks for big bettors, such as free hotel rooms and dinners, tickets to shows, and limo service. They also reward loyal patrons with “comps,” or complimentary items. In the 1970s, Las Vegas casinos were famous for their deeply discounted travel packages and cheap buffets. Today’s casinos are more sophisticated, with upscale decor and a wide variety of non-gambling activities to appeal to families.