A casino is a gambling establishment that offers slot machines, table games like blackjack and poker, and entertainment shows. Guests must be of legal gambling age to enter and gamble. Some casinos also offer food and beverage services. Casinos are usually located in cities with large populations, such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City. They may be owned by private companies or public entities. Those that are owned by governments often operate under strict regulatory oversight.

To attract customers, many casinos use a variety of marketing strategies. They focus on providing stimulating atmospheres, with a variety of lighting and sounds designed to evoke excitement and encourage spending. They entice gamblers to spend more than they intend to by offering complimentary items, known as comps. Examples include free drinks, discounted hotel rooms, and show tickets. They also promote gambling as a social activity by hosting casino nights, which are themed parties that allow people to socialize while playing games.

A casino’s profitability depends on its ability to control costs and generate revenue. Unlike a business that earns income by selling products or services, a casino’s profits come from the vig (vigorish) or commission (rake) it takes on bets placed by patrons. As such, a casino’s mathematical odds of winning are always against the players. To minimize this risk, casinos monitor the behavior of their patrons and employees to prevent cheating and stealing, which can occur both in collusion between staff and guests and independently.