A casino (; French for gambling house) is a building or room where people can gamble and play games of chance. Many casinos also have other entertainment features, such as restaurants and bars. The term may also refer to an establishment licensed to offer specific types of gambling, such as lotteries or electronic gaming machines.
Casinos are located in a wide variety of geographic locations and have become an important part of the tourism industry in many countries. Most casinos are owned by private companies or local governments and operate under strict government supervision. Some states have passed laws restricting or prohibiting casino ownership and operation, while others regulate the type of gambling offered.
Some states require casino operators to submit detailed reports on their business operations to the state government. In addition, some states have special commissions that oversee casino licensing and regulation. In the United Kingdom, the term casino usually refers to a regulated private club.
The casino industry has developed a reputation for glamour and decadence, and has become a popular place to visit and a source of revenue for many cities and states. The elegant spa town of Baden-Baden, for example, first became a playground for European royalty and aristocracy 150 years ago and has since grown to be one of the most luxurious casinos in the world.
Most of the games in a casino are banked, meaning that the house has a built-in mathematical advantage. This edge can be relatively small, but it can generate substantial revenue for the casino over time. To offset this advantage, most casinos offer a variety of incentives to gamblers. These can include free spectacular entertainment, discounted transportation and luxury living quarters.