A casino, also known as a gambling house or a gaming establishment, is a place where people can gamble. The games may be traditional card or table games, such as poker and blackjack, or video gaming machines, such as slots or keno. In addition, many casinos host tournaments and cash games for players. Many casino owners are also involved in hotel or entertainment businesses.

Casinos are governed by government regulations to ensure honesty, fairness, and security. They make money by charging a small percentage of the total bets to players, called a house edge. This advantage, which can be as low as two percent for some games, provides enough income to cover the costs of running the casino and generate a profit. Casinos often earn extra revenue from the sale of food and drinks to patrons.

In the United States, the first legal casino was opened in 1931 in Las Vegas. Before that, most casino games were played underground and with mob involvement. After federal crackdowns, real estate investors and hotel chains bought out the mobsters and ran legal casinos without mob interference.

Most casinos focus on customer service, offering perks such as discounted travel packages and free show tickets to encourage gamblers to spend more. Some casinos have dedicated rooms for high rollers, whose expenditures can be in the tens of thousands of dollars per visit. Critics argue that compulsive gambling has a negative impact on the economy, shifting spending away from other forms of entertainment and reducing tax revenues.