A casino is a public room that features a variety of games of chance. It also offers a number of other luxuries, such as restaurants, free drinks and stage shows. Gambling in some form has been part of almost every society throughout history.

Casinos are businesses, and they need to make a profit in order to stay in business. As such, they have built into every game a mathematical advantage for them. This is known as the house edge, and it ensures that the casino will always win, or at least break even. This advantage may be very small, but it adds up over the millions of wagers placed by patrons. As a result, casinos are able to afford extravagant inducements for big bettors. These can include free spectacular entertainment, reduced-fare transportation and elegant living quarters.

Many large casinos have a hotel attached to them, and some offer non-gambling activities, such as bars, restaurants and non-gambling gaming rooms. These casinos are known as resort casinos. Some of the most famous are located in Las Vegas, but there are also many in other cities and countries around the world.

Most casino patrons are older adults with above-average incomes, according to a 2005 study by Roper Reports GfK NOP and the U.S. Gaming Panel by TNS. Casinos rely on them to spend money, so they advertise heavily to lure them in. They also promote the use of credit cards. They are licensed by governments to operate and are inspected by international auditing institutions, including the most well-known, eCogra.