In a casino, customers gamble by playing games of chance (and, in some cases, skill) at tables and on machines. The games have mathematically determined odds that give the house a small advantage over the players. This advantage, called the house edge or vig, is how casinos make money. It is a large source of income for the companies, investors, and Native American tribes that operate casinos. Successful casinos bring in billions of dollars each year for their owners and employees.

Most people who visit casinos are there to gamble, but there are also a number of nongambling activities that occur in the same place, such as restaurants, bars, free drinks, and stage shows. Most of these are not technically part of the casino, but they enhance the casino experience.

Casinos are often very loud and heavily decorated with bright and sometimes gaudy colors that are meant to inspire excitement and distract gamblers from thinking about the fact that they are losing money. There are usually no clocks on the walls, and it is common for casinos to use red as a color because it stimulates gambling behavior by making gamblers lose track of time.

Security in a casino begins on the casino floor, where dealers and other workers keep their eyes on the action to spot any blatant cheating like palming or marking cards. They also observe patterns of betting, and the higher-ups watch for suspicious bets. Casinos also monitor their patrons through video cameras and other technological means.