Casino is a place where people gamble by playing games of chance or skill. A successful casino operation earns billions of dollars each year for the companies, investors and Native American tribes that own and operate them, as well as for state and local governments that collect taxes and fees. Casinos vary in size and layout, from massive resorts to small card rooms. Licensed casinos are also found at racetracks, where they’re known as racinos.

Gambling in some form is believed to have been around for thousands of years. The ancient Mesopotamian city of Susa had a gaming house, and the Romans and Greeks were avid gamers. Modern casinos are heavily associated with Las Vegas and Atlantic City, but they can be found all over the world, including in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.

Typically, casinos have mathematically determined odds for each game, which give the casino an advantage over the players. The casino’s advantage can be expressed as a percentage of total bets or as an expected value. In games such as blackjack and baccarat, the player’s skill can offset the house edge, but in most casino games, the house always has an advantage.

Many casino gamblers are high rollers who make large bets and spend significant amounts of money. To encourage them, casinos often offer free rooms and other amenities. In addition, casino gambling is usually noisy and exciting. The floors and walls are covered with bright colors, and the lighting is designed to be cheery and stimulating. Waiters circulating through the casino carry drinks to players, and nonalcoholic beverages are often available for free.