A casino is a place where people can gamble on games of chance or skill. The term is most commonly used to refer to a full-service gambling establishment in the United States and Canada, but there are also less luxurious places that specialize in particular types of games.

In addition to gambling, casinos often provide other entertainment options such as restaurants and bars. They may also feature stage shows and other forms of live entertainment. These amenities help attract visitors and create a sense of community among players. They can also reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness among people who do not have much social interaction in their daily lives.

Casinos usually employ several security measures to protect their patrons and property. These may include physical security forces and specialized surveillance departments. Physical security forces patrol the casino floor and respond to calls for assistance or reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity. Specialized surveillance departments use cameras that offer a high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” view of the entire casino, which can be adjusted to focus on specific suspects.

Most casino patrons are middle-aged and older adults who have above-average incomes. According to a 2005 study by Roper Reports GfK NOP and the U.S. Gaming Panel, about 24% of Americans have visited a casino in the past year. This figure compares to about 20% in 1989 and is up substantially since the legalization of gambling in Nevada. The average casino gambler is a forty-six-year-old female from a household with above-average income.