A casino is an establishment for gambling. It offers a wide variety of games and is often associated with restaurants, hotels, shopping centers and other tourist attractions. Many casinos also offer live entertainment and sports events.

Modern casinos are like indoor amusement parks for adults, with the vast majority of their profits coming from games of chance such as slot machines, blackjack, roulette and craps. They draw in customers with elaborate themes, high-quality shows and a range of other entertainment options such as restaurants, bars and shops, but the most important attraction is the games themselves.

There is one certainty when it comes to gambling: the house always wins. Each game has a built-in advantage that ensures the casino will never lose money on any particular wager. Despite this, most gamblers are not aware of this fact and assume that their personal skill or luck will overcome the house edge.

To offset the inherent disadvantage of their games, casinos have a number of strategies to increase their profit margins. They reward frequent and high-spending patrons with comps, free goods and services, such as food, drinks and hotel rooms. The comp system was originally developed to attract tourists, but it is now common for locals as well.

The demographics of casino gamblers vary by location, but the average patron is a forty-six-year-old female from a household with above-average income. This group accounted for 23% of the 2005 revenue generated by US casinos, according to data from Roper Reports GfK and the U.S. Gaming Panel.