The Casino is a place where people can play games of chance for money. It is also a term used to describe the buildings or structures that house these games of chance. Some casinos are large and impressive while others are small and intimate. In addition to games of chance, many casinos feature restaurants, theaters and other entertainment attractions.
Gambling is a broader concept than gambling that includes all forms of betting or wagering on events with uncertain outcomes. In the United States, casino gambling has only been legalized in Nevada since 1978, though it has spread throughout the country and into other nations. Many American Indian reservations have casinos on their land, which are often exempt from state laws against casino gambling.
Most casinos make their money by taking a small percentage of bets and paying out winning bets. This advantage can be less than two percent, but it adds up over the millions of bets that are placed each year. The profits from this edge allow casinos to invest in huge resorts and elaborate games of chance and skill that appeal to human senses. For example, more than 15,000 miles (24,100 km) of neon tubing is used to light the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.
Casinos are a source of billions of dollars each year for the companies, investors and Native American tribes that own and operate them. They also generate significant revenue for local governments through taxes, fees and other payments. Critics point out that casinos draw patrons away from other types of local entertainment and that compulsive gambling takes a toll on the economy by reducing productivity and raising medical costs.