A casino is a place where people play games of chance for money. In addition to gambling, casinos often offer other entertainment, such as musical shows and lighted fountains. They also serve alcohol and food to gamblers. The modern casino is designed around noise, light and excitement, with the majority of its profits (and a significant amount of its entertainment value) coming from games of chance. The casino industry is worth billions of dollars in the United States alone.
A modern casino is a large building that contains various gambling tables and machines. In the United States, a casino is legally licensed and operated only in those cities where state law allows it. Casinos may also be located on American Indian reservations, where state laws do not apply. The first legal American casino was opened in Atlantic City in 1978, followed by others in Detroit and other cities. In Europe, the Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco and the Casino de Paris have long been famous.
Most casino games have mathematically determined odds that give the house an advantage over players, a disadvantage known as the house edge. In some games, such as blackjack and video poker, the house advantage is fixed by rules of the game; in other cases, it varies according to how the player plays. Some casinos also take a percentage of the money bet, or “rake,” on certain games, such as poker and baccarat. The house advantage is not the only reason why casinos are popular, however; they also offer excitement and glamour and are featured in many movies and television shows.