A casino, also known as a gaming hall or a gambling establishment, is a place where people can play a variety of games of chance. A casino may have a number of different types of gambling activities, including poker, blackjack, roulette, and slot machines. There are also usually several dining options, and many casinos have entertainment from top performers or local acts. Some have rooftop pools, water slides, and spas. People can place bets on horse races and other sports events at some casinos.

Gambling probably predates recorded history, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice found in archaeological sites. However, the idea of a central location for people to find a wide range of gambling opportunities under one roof did not develop until Nevada legalized it in 1931. Other states soon followed suit, and Native American casinos were developed on reservations.

Despite the lure of large amounts of money, most people who gamble at a casino do not win. This is because the house always has an advantage over the players. The house edge is built into every game, and the longer you play, the more likely you are to lose.

In order to minimize the loss to their customers, casinos use a number of tricks to attract gamblers. They arrange the games in a maze-like pattern so that wandering players are constantly enticed by new gambling options. They also use bright lights and loud noises to appeal to the sense of hearing. In the 1970s Las Vegas casinos offered deeply discounted travel packages and free show tickets to draw in as many people as possible.