A casino is a gambling establishment where people can play games of chance for money. Some of these are more like social gatherings, such as craps or poker, and others are more focused on a specific game, such as slot machines. There are many casinos in the world, and people travel to them from all over the world. Some of these are owned by large corporations, such as Las Vegas Sands in Nevada. Others are owned by local governments and operate as public institutions. Many of these places are designed around noise, light and excitement, and they use a variety of marketing techniques to attract gamblers.

The basic goal of a casino is to make more money than it spends. The casino’s built-in advantage, known as the house edge, can be quite small, less than two percent, but this advantage is enough to earn the casino more money than it loses on all bets. It is this extra money that gives casinos the ability to build elaborate hotels, fountains, towers and replicas of famous monuments.

Casinos also have a business model that tries to maximize revenue from people who do not know the odds of winning. According to a study by Roper Reports GfK NOP and the U.S. Gaming Panel by TNS, the typical casino gambler in 2005 was a forty-six-year-old female who lived in an above-average income household. People who have a lot of available vacation time and money for gambling often become repeat customers, and casinos try to reward them by giving them free goods and services, such as hotel rooms, meals and tickets to shows.