What is a Casino?

A casino is a special establishment where customers can gamble and enjoy drinks and meals. These establishments have a variety of gambling entertainment such as slots, roulette, blackjack, poker, baccarat, craps and keno. They also have restaurants, hotels and non-gambling games for the whole family. These casinos make billions of dollars in profits a year and are found around the world.

These facilities are designed to attract people by providing a social environment with noise, light and excitement. The games in casinos are mainly based on chance, although some have a certain element of skill. In general, the house has a mathematical edge over players, which can be measured by expected value. In the case of a game like poker, the house collects a percentage of all bets made by players called the rake.

The earliest casinos were gangster-run, but as they lost control of the industry to investment banks and hotel chains, the mob was forced out of business. Today’s casinos are much choosier about who they allow to play, and focus their investments on the high rollers. These people spend enormous amounts of money and are often given “comps” worth tens of thousands of dollars, such as free luxury suites.

The average casino patron is a forty-six-year-old woman from a household with above-average income, who makes up 23% of all gambling participants. They tend to be married with children and are more likely to have a college degree than the average American.