A casino is a gambling establishment where people can gamble on games of chance or skill. Casino games include slot machines, table games such as blackjack and roulette, and card games such as poker. Some casinos also offer a wide variety of entertainment, such as stage shows and musical performances. Casinos earn billions of dollars each year for their owners, investors, and Native American tribes. They also contribute to local economies through taxes, fees and other payments to state and local governments.

Casinos attract a mix of high rollers and casual players. In 2005 a survey by Harrah’s Entertainment found that female casino gamblers, who tend to spend more money than men, prefer electronic games with coin denominations from $0.25 to $0.50. In general, males tend to favor table games such as poker and craps.

While some casino games require a high degree of skill, the majority are purely chance. As a result, the house always has an advantage over players, a fact that is mathematically determined and called the house edge. Casinos try to offset the house edge with complimentary items (complimentaries or comps) and a percentage of the total amount wagered, called the rake.

For much of the country’s history, casino gambling was illegal. But as laws changed, new venues opened and existing ones expanded. Today, casinos are found in massive resorts as well as small card rooms in bars and restaurants. In addition, gaming is often combined with other entertainment offerings such as retail shops, restaurants and stage shows.