A casino is a public room or building where people can gamble and play games of chance.
Originally, a casino was a public hall for music and dancing; it became a collection of gaming or gambling rooms in the second half of the 19th century.
Gambling originated in ancient times and was almost certainly present during the Egyptian Empire. But it did not become a popular pastime until the 16th century, when the first official gambling hall was created.
Most casinos today are like indoor amusement parks, with musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and elaborate themes drawing in patrons. But, the vast majority of profits come from the game of chance itself — slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, keno, and video poker provide billions in profit for U.S. casinos every year.
Casinos make money by offering a statistical advantage to their players — the edge can be as small as two percent, but it’s enough to cover expenses and earn a profit for a casino over time. That edge allows casinos to offer extravagant inducements, including reduced-fare transportation, hotel rooms, free drinks and cigarettes while gambling, and even spectacular entertainment.
The American casino industry is a huge economic engine for the United States, with more than 1,000 commercial casinos and hundreds of tribal casinos operating throughout the country. In addition to traditional games, most casinos also host major events like the World Series of Poker and other live tournaments.