The casino may seem like an adult version of a large indoor amusement park, with musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and elaborate themes. But the real reason casinos exist is for gambling. Games of chance like blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps, poker and slot machines provide the billions in profits that casinos are famous for every year.

Gambling in one form or another has been around as long as humans have lived, and most people consider it a fun and exciting pastime that can help them relax. While many people enjoy taking weekend bus trips to the nearest casino with friends and family, it is also possible for a person to gamble online from the comfort of their home or on the go using mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets.

Casinos make money by charging patrons a fee, sometimes called the house edge, to play games of chance with a certain built-in statistical advantage for the casino. This advantage, while very small in most cases, is enough to earn casinos a profit and allows them to build elaborate hotels and attractions such as giant pyramids, towers and fountains.

To encourage patrons to play, casinos offer free items or comps. For example, a player who is considered to be a big spender on table games or video poker may receive free hotel rooms, dinners and show tickets. Some casinos even give away limo service and airline tickets to their biggest spenders.