A casino, also known as a gambling house or a gaming palace, is an establishment for certain types of gambling. It is usually located near or combined with a hotel, restaurant, retail shops, or other tourist attractions. In some countries, casinos are operated by government-owned or private corporations. Others are owned by local or regional gambling interests. In the United States, the term casino typically refers to a large-scale facility that offers a variety of casino games, such as poker, blackjack, and roulette, and often features live entertainment.

Most casino games involve some degree of skill, but the odds of winning or losing are mathematically determined by the house and are uniformly negative from the player’s perspective (this is sometimes called the “house edge”). In table games such as blackjack, players compete against the casino rather than each other; the casino earns money through a commission known as the rake. Some casinos employ mathematicians to determine the optimal play for particular games, and these professionals are sometimes called gaming analysts or mathematical consultants.

The first modern casinos began to appear in the late 19th century, and they were commonly associated with luxury and elegance. Today, the world’s finest casinos are often designed as a complete resort experience, with luxurious suites, spas, and dining. From Las Vegas to Macau, the most prestigious casinos offer high stakes and glamour.