What Is a Casino?

A casino is a facility where people can play games of chance for money. These games of chance usually give a long-term advantage to the house, but some have skill elements that can reduce the house’s edge. In some cases, people who possess enough skills to eliminate the house edge are referred to as “advantage players.”

While the idea of gambling and casinos is often associated with lavish places like Las Vegas, many cities have casinos, and they serve their own unique purposes. The city of Chicago, for example, is known for its swanky riverboat casino and high-end restaurants that make it an attractive destination for both leisure travelers and businesspeople.

There are also smaller casinos in many neighborhoods, where locals can try their luck at a variety of games. Some casinos are famous for their live entertainment; Caesars, for example, has hosted entertainers ranging from Frank Sinatra to Celine Dion and Mariah Carey.

The popularity of casinos has increased in recent years as people have been looking for new and exciting ways to gamble. In 2008, 24% of Americans reported having visited a casino in the previous year, according to Roper Research GfK and the U.S. Gaming Panel by TNS. That figure has likely risen since. Casinos are also becoming increasingly choosy about their customers, focusing on those who spend much more than average and offering them special benefits like luxury suites and free show tickets. This is called comping.