What Is a Casino?

A casino is a gambling establishment that offers a wide range of games, including slot machines, table games and poker. The facility also provides a variety of amenities such as restaurants, bars and live entertainment. Casinos are regulated by state and local governments and often feature high security.

Gambling in all its forms has been a part of human civilization for millennia. Evidence of primitive dice dates back to 2300 BC China, and card games began appearing in Europe around 500 AD. It wasn’t until the 1980s that casinos first appeared in American cities, and in the early 1990s they started showing up on Native American reservations, which are exempt from state antigambling laws.

Most casinos offer a variety of gambling games, including blackjack, roulette, craps and poker. Some are multi-level and have a lavish atmosphere. Others have a more casual feel, such as those found at the Las Vegas hotels or in Atlantic City, which are geared toward locals and tourists alike. Casinos usually accept all bets within an established limit, and a mathematical expectation exists for each game. In order to maximize profits, they offer a host of customer service perks known as “comps,” including reduced-fare transportation and hotel rooms, free food and drinks while playing, and other inducements.

In addition to traditional casino games, many have Asian-inspired games like sic bo and fan-tan. Some also have a strong focus on live entertainment, with performers including Frank Sinatra, Celine Dion and Madonna.