A casino is a facility for certain types of gambling. It is often combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, and/or other tourist attractions. Some casinos are famous for their luxurious accommodations and entertainment offerings, while others are known for their gaming floors with slot machines, table games, and other electronic devices that offer chances to win money.

While musical shows, lighted fountains and shopping centers help draw in patrons, casinos would not exist without the billions of dollars in profits derived from their gambling games. From the history behind the establishment of casinos to the games themselves, this article takes a look at how casinos make their money, what you can expect when you visit one, and the dark side of the business.

Casinos are divided into three general categories: gaming machines, table games, and random number games. Gaming machines (such as slots and pachinko) are played by one player at a time and do not require the involvement of casino employees. Table games such as blackjack and craps involve one or more players competing against the house, and are conducted by croupiers or dealers. Random number games are based on the selection of numbers from a computerized system.

Many casinos offer incentives to their patrons, known as comps. These can include free hotel rooms, dinners, show tickets, and even airline or limo service. A casino’s incentive program is usually based on the amount of money a patron wagers or the amount of time they spend at a specific game or on the overall gaming floor.