A casino is an establishment for gambling. These establishments are usually incorporated or licensed by the government to operate certain types of gambling. The most famous casinos are in Las Vegas, but there are also casinos in other parts of the world, such as Monaco, Venice, Singapore and Macau. Casinos often feature musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels and they draw people from all over the world to try their luck.

Gambling has been a part of human culture for millennia. The first documented instances of dice were found in China in 2300 BC and the game that became blackjack appeared in Europe in the 1400s. Modern casinos are multi-purpose entertainment centers with the vast majority of their profits derived from games of chance. Slot machines, craps and roulette are the most popular games in American casinos, which earn their profit by allowing players to bet small sums of money quickly and repeatedly.

The house edge, the mathematically determined advantage of the casino over the players, is built into every casino game. Casinos hire mathematicians and computer programmers to design games with expected values that maximize their profits while reducing the risk of large losses to players. These specialists are known as gaming mathematicians and analysts. The casinos use these probabilities to predict how much they will make and the likelihood of a player winning a particular game, and to set minimum bets that ensure a certain amount of turnover. This allows them to calculate what they must pay out in winnings, and also how much they need in the way of cash reserves.