A casino, also known as a gambling house or a gaming establishment, is a place where people can gamble. These casinos are sometimes combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops and other tourist attractions. Casinos are most famous for their slot machines, blackjack and roulette tables, but they also feature a variety of other games such as craps, keno and poker. They can also host live entertainment, such as stand-up comedy and concerts.
Most games have a built in advantage for the casino, called the house edge. This is often a small percentage but it adds up over the millions of bets placed by casino patrons each year. The casino makes money from this advantage, and this is how it can afford to build elaborate hotel and entertainment facilities.
In some countries, casinos are operated by government-owned enterprises, while in others they are private businesses. In either case, casino ownership is regulated to prevent monopolies and other anti-competitive practices. Casinos are also subject to heavy security because of the large amounts of cash handled in them. This includes a physical security force and specialized surveillance departments, which work together to monitor patrons for suspicious or criminal activity.
Many modern casinos are attached to a wide range of dining and beverage facilities and may also include performance venues for pop, rock and other musicians. They have evolved from the slightly seedy establishments of the past, and now offer a full-fledged vacation experience that transcends traditional gambling.