Casino is an entertainment venue that houses a variety of games of chance and gambling is the primary activity. The luxuries like restaurants, free drinks and stage shows help attract patrons but casinos would not exist without games of chance and the billions they generate in profits for owners.

Gambling has almost certainly existed in some form since the dawn of civilization. Its precise origin is unknown, but it is generally believed that primitive games such as dice and cut knuckle bones predated recorded history. In modern times, casino gambling has become an immensely popular form of entertainment. Casinos are found all over the world in locations ranging from Las Vegas strip hotels and Atlantic City to Chinese pai gow parlors and Indian bingo halls.

In the United States, casino gambling is legal in forty states. The largest number of casinos is in Nevada, followed by New Jersey and Illinois. The industry is regulated by state laws and gaming control boards that oversee operations. Most casinos are owned by large casino companies. These corporations have purchased or built numerous facilities around the country and internationally. Casinos are also run by private individuals and organized crime syndicates.

In 2008, 24% of American adults reported visiting a casino. The typical gambler is a woman over forty-six with an above-average income who has some amount of vacation time and available spending money. The majority of casino gamblers favor blackjack, poker and slot machines. Many casinos also offer traditional Far Eastern games such as sic bo and fan-tan.