The Casino is a gambling establishment where games of chance are played. Its luxuries and entertainment offerings—shows, restaurants, free drinks—are meant to attract people and keep them coming back. But casinos would not exist without the games themselves, which provide the billions in profits that they generate each year.

Gambling in some form has been part of every culture throughout history. It may have begun as a game of pure chance, with each bet a random event in a zero-sum game, or it may have developed into a social activity to entertain and amuse people. Either way, it has become a major industry in its many forms, with the most well-known being Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Macau.

Casinos have a built-in mathematical expectancy of a profit, and it is very rare for a casino to lose money on a single day. That virtually guarantees a net profit, so the casinos can offer big bettors free spectacular entertainment and reduced-fare transportation and hotel rooms, and even lesser bettors are offered free cigarettes while gambling and drinks at the tables.

The casinos are decorated in bright and sometimes gaudy colors designed to stimulate the patrons and enliven their senses. The sound of clanging dice and the roar of slot machines creates an exciting ambience. Casinos usually have no clocks to remind gamblers of the passing of time, and the staff is trained to recognize signs of compulsive gambling that may result in a loss of control.