A casino is a place where gambling and games of chance are legal. It is often a major tourist attraction and a source of income for the local community. A casino features a variety of table and slot machines, as well as entertainment such as shows and concerts. In the United States, casinos are regulated by state law. Despite the reputation of being crime-ridden, casinos are generally safe and secure places to visit.

The casino industry is dominated by the Las Vegas area, with Atlantic City and Chicago following closely. Native American casinos are growing rapidly as states pass laws allowing them to open. The typical casino patron is a forty-six-year-old woman from a household with above-average income. Gambling is a popular pastime for many Americans, with 24% reporting having visited a casino in the past year, according to Roper Reports and the U.S. Gaming Panel.

In addition to a variety of table and slot games, some casinos feature traditional Far Eastern games such as sic bo (which spread from China to several European and American casinos during the 1990s), fan-tan, and pai gow. Those who spend a lot of time at the tables or playing slots may be eligible for “comps,” which are free goods or services like hotel rooms, meals, tickets to shows, and even limo service and airline tickets.

Something about gambling – perhaps the large amounts of money handled in a casino – encourages patrons and employees to cheat or steal, either in collusion or on their own. This is why casinos devote a great deal of time and money to security.