A casino, also known as a gambling house or a gaming room, is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Casinos are usually located in or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, and/or other tourist attractions. In some countries, casinos are regulated by law to ensure fair play and minimum security standards. In addition to gambling, many casinos offer entertainment shows and events.

While the stereotype of a casino is a seedy backroom gambling parlor, large casinos are often elegant and well-lit facilities that provide a safe environment for patrons to eat, drink, watch live or closed-circuit shows, and gamble. Many casinos also pay their employees generously and provide benefits such as free meals, health insurance, and retirement plans. Casinos have a positive economic impact on the surrounding area, creating jobs and bringing in tax revenue that can help alleviate poverty and unemployment rates.

To maximize their profits, casinos employ mathematicians and computer programmers to determine the mathematically determined odds of each game. This information is used to optimize the payouts to players, while minimizing the amount of money the casino must keep in reserve. These professionals are also called gaming mathematicians and analysts. They also use their knowledge of variance to predict how much a particular game will fluctuate in winnings and losses. This way, they can make sure their customers have a great time without going broke. They can even give away complimentary items and comps to their customers in return for their wagers.