A casino is a gambling establishment that features gaming tables and/or slot machines. It is also a popular place for people to socialize and have fun. As a general rule, any person who meets the minimum legal age of gambling in their jurisdiction can play at casinos. However, casinos may deny access to anyone who appears on a state or casino self-exclusion list. In addition, a casino may not operate in any jurisdiction where gambling is illegal.

In the past, the word casino referred to a large public hall for music and dancing, but in modern times it refers to any facility where games of chance are played, including poker, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat, and bingo. While a casino might include luxuries such as restaurants, free drinks, stage shows and dramatic scenery to lure in players, the vast majority of profits are generated by gambling.

Gambling at a casino is not without risks, and cheating and theft (either in collusion or independently) are fairly common. That is why a casino must invest a substantial amount of money in security measures. These might include everything from a roving security team to high-tech surveillance systems. Moreover, the presence of large amounts of money in the casino encourages people to try to beat the system, and many casinos spend a lot of time, effort, and cash trying to prevent this from happening. Nevertheless, the casino industry continues to grow. As of 2008, 24% of Americans reported having visited a casino in the previous year.