A casino, or gambling house, is a building or room where various games of chance are played. The games that can be played in casinos vary by location and are regulated by law. Casinos may also offer restaurants, free drinks and stage shows. Many states have legalized casinos to boost tourism and business, and to provide employment opportunities.

Most casinos are operated by large companies or individuals, and have a high level of security. Casinos are a common sight in cities around the world, with some of the most famous being located in Las Vegas, Nevada and Atlantic City, New Jersey. Some are built as standalone buildings, while others are incorporated into hotels and other larger resorts.

Gambling is a form of recreation for some people, and casinos are designed to appeal to this desire for chance. There is a certain amount of skill involved in winning at a casino game, but for the most part it is just pure luck. The large amounts of money handled in a casino make it an attractive place for both patrons and staff to cheat and steal, and most casinos spend a considerable amount of time and money on security.

While most patrons of a casino gamble legally, some are addicted to gambling and generate a disproportionately large share of the profits of the establishment. Research indicates that five percent of casino patrons are addicted, and their activity drains the resources of local government agencies and businesses and lowers property values in the areas where they live.