What is a Casino?

A casino, also known as a gambling house or a gaming establishment, is a building or room where certain types of gambling activities take place. Casinos are most often associated with gambling, but they may also contain restaurant services and other entertainment features. They are also sometimes combined with hotels, resorts, cruise ships or other tourist attractions.

A number of modern casinos are behemoths that can dwarf an entire city block. These super-sized casinos often include everything from five-star hotel rooms and Michelin-starred restaurants to high-end designer shops and top-billed entertainment shows. However, even when they are not aiming to make a dent in your wallet, these casinos still have plenty to offer the gambler who wants to try his or her hand at one of their many gaming tables or slot machines.

Casinos make their money by taking advantage of the fact that most gamblers lose money. Every game offered in a casino has a built in mathematical advantage for the house, and it is very rare for a gambler to walk away from a casino with a net win. The house edge can be as low as two percent, but that advantage equates to billions in profits for the casinos each year.

While casinos use lighted fountains, shopping centers, luxury hotels and elaborate themes to draw in the crowds, they would not exist without the games of chance that they are built around. This article takes a look at the history of casino games, how they work, what to expect when you gamble and the dark side of the industry.