A casino, also known as a gambling hall, is a place where people can play various games of chance for money. Casinos are often luxurious buildings with a wide variety of entertainment options such as restaurants, bars, and stage shows. The majority of the revenue that casinos generate comes from gambling activities. Some casinos also offer complimentary items to patrons, which is called comping. The term casino may also refer to a gaming machine or a specific game such as poker or blackjack.

Unlike most forms of modern gambling, which take place in private clubs or on the Internet, casinos are publicly operated facilities where patrons can interact with each other and with casino employees. This social aspect of the casino, along with the noise and flashing lights, helps to create a gambling atmosphere. In the United States, most casinos are located in Las Vegas. Other popular gambling destinations include Atlantic City and Chicago.

Most casinos earn their profits by charging a percentage of each bet placed on a table or machine. This fee, known as the house edge, can be less than two percent, but it adds up over time and billions of dollars in profit each year. In some cases, the house advantage is built into the rules of a particular game, such as the odds of winning or losing in baccarat.

Because so much money is handled within a casino, both patrons and employees can be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. Because of this, casinos employ many security measures to protect their assets. These include security cameras and sophisticated surveillance systems that can detect a thief by his or her movements on the floor.