A casino (also known as a gambling house, gaming house or simply a casino) is an establishment where people can gamble on games of chance or skill. Most modern casinos also offer other entertainment activities such as shows and restaurants. Some are integrated with hotels, cruise ships or resorts.
Casinos make money by giving patrons free merchandise and services such as food, drinks and limo or airline tickets in exchange for their gambling. These free goods and services are referred to as comps. Casinos usually measure player activity by observing the amount of money wagered and time spent on each game. They then reward loyal players with comps such as free hotel rooms, meals and shows. Casinos also earn money by taking a small percentage of the total amount of bets placed on their machines, a practice known as vigorish or rake.
In the United States, state governments regulate casinos. Many American Indian reservations have casinos, which are exempt from state antigambling laws. In Macau, a city in China that has become a global gambling hub, the casino is an essential part of its economy.
While most casino games are based on luck, some involve a small degree of skill, such as blackjack and poker. The most popular casino games are roulette, baccarat, craps and slot machines. Each of these games has a built-in mathematical advantage for the house, which can be lower than two percent or as high as 1.4 percent depending on the game.