What Is a Casino?


A casino is a public place where people can gamble and play games of chance. Casinos are usually located in areas where gambling is legal, such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

In the United States, casinos are licensed and regulated by state governments. In addition to gambling, casinos also often offer other types of entertainment, such as shows and restaurants. Some casinos are operated by Native American tribes. Others are run by independent owners. The majority of casino revenue comes from gambling.

While musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels help draw in the crowds, casinos would not exist without games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and other games provide the billions of dollars in profits that casinos generate every year.

Many of these games have a certain amount of skill involved, but most of the time the house has a mathematical advantage over patrons, known as the house edge. To compensate for this, the casino takes a percentage of all wagers placed, known as a rake.

In 2005 the Harrah’s Corporation, based in Las Vegas, reported that the average casino gambler is a forty-six-year-old female from a family with an above-average income. These people have more free vacation time and available spending money than younger adults. In terms of education, most casino gamblers have not attended college, although some have some college credits or an associate’s degree. Other casino gamblers have a graduate degree or higher.