A casino is a gambling establishment where patrons can wager on various games of chance and place bets. In addition to traditional gambling tables, most casinos also offer a variety of other entertainment and dining options such as restaurants, theaters and bars. Many of these venues are designed to create an ambiance that enhances the gambling experience. Some, such as the famed Las Vegas Strip, are known for their architectural design while others have become tourist attractions in and of themselves.

The casino industry is regulated by most states and is a major source of income for governments around the world. Casinos are also common in Europe, especially in the United Kingdom, where licensed and regulated gambling clubs operate. Many people take weekend bus trips to nearby casinos with their friends to try their luck and get that thrilling feeling we all experience vicariously in casino-themed movies.

In the United States, the first legal casinos opened in Atlantic City in 1978 and spread to other American cities and Indian reservations in the 1980s, as these locations were not subject to state antigambling laws. There are now about 3,000 legal casinos worldwide.

The casinos make money by taking a small percentage of all bets placed by players. This percentage varies by game, but it can be less than two percent. Because of this built in edge, it is virtually impossible for a casino to lose money on any particular day. This virtual assurance of gross profit allows casinos to give big bettors extravagant inducements such as free spectacular entertainment, luxury hotel rooms and reduced-fare transportation.