A casino is a public place where a variety of games of chance can be played. Its luxuries include restaurants, free drinks and stage shows. Casinos may also offer special inducements to patrons. These can range from reduced-fare transportation and hotel rooms to exotic vacations and meals.

Historically, casinos have been heavily associated with organized crime. Mob money flowed into Reno and Las Vegas in the 1950s, and mobsters took sole or partial ownership of many of them. This taint of organized crime weighed on legitimate businessmen who were reluctant to invest in casinos. They did, however, create a number of other gambling enterprises that were based more on chance and less on the glitz and glamour of casinos.

In the twenty-first century, casinos are much choosier about who they let play there. They have a tendency to concentrate their investments on the “high rollers,” gamblers who spend very large sums. In some cases, these patrons are allowed to gamble in special rooms away from the main floor. This can save a high roller thousands of dollars in room and dining costs alone. Other perks include free luxury suites and extravagant personal attention.

Most casino gamblers are middle-aged, female and come from households with above-average incomes. In 2005, the average casino gambler was forty-six years old and came from a household with more than $80,000 in assets. This is more than double the average household income in America. The casino industry is very competitive, and many gamblers travel long distances to find the best odds and the highest payouts on their favorite machines.