Casino is a place where gambling activities take place. It also offers entertainment, food and beverage services, and hotel rooms. Some casinos offer a variety of games, including blackjack, roulette, poker and craps. Others focus on a single game, such as video poker or keno. Many casinos have elaborate themes that make them feel like indoor amusement parks for adults, complete with musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and high-end hotels. However, the vast majority of casino profits come from gambling.

Most casino games have built-in advantages that ensure the house will always win. This advantage is known as the house edge. In games such as poker, where players play against each other, the house takes a small percentage of each pot, which is called the rake. Other games, such as blackjack and slot machines, have a fixed payout percentage that is not determined by the player. In such games, the house has a mathematical advantage that can be calculated ahead of time.

The early history of casino gaming is closely linked to the origin of gambling itself. Gambling was originally a game of chance, but later evolved into a more organized activity with certain rules and social conventions. The modern casino industry is closely regulated by government authorities to ensure that gambling activities are safe and fair for all patrons. However, there are critics who point out that the addition of a casino can depress local economic activity and that the cost of treating problem gamblers can more than offset any positive effects on a community.