A casino is one of the most common types of entertainment venues. Customers are expected to gamble on games of chance and skill. Casino games, however, have a mathematically calculated edge over the players. This advantage is known as the house edge, or rake. Other benefits of gambling at a casino include comps and complimentary items, and the payout percentage, which is the amount of winnings returned to the players. These benefits are not always obtainable, and they can depend on individual circumstances.
Many countries throughout the world have recorded the history of gambling. In the 17th century, a Venetian church was the first to open an official gambling hall. Only aristocrats were allowed to participate in the first casino, and it had a strict dress code. The first casino in Europe was not open to the public until 1638. It took decades for this industry to mature and become a legitimate industry. Only 37 years later did New Jersey legalize casino gambling.
The statistics on the average gambler in the United States are very different. One study, conducted by Roper Reports GfK NOP, involved face-to-face interviews with 2,000 U.S. adults. Another study, conducted by the U.S. Gaming Panel, included a questionnaire mailed to 100 thousand adults. The results of these studies revealed that the average gambler in a casino in 2005 was a 46-year-old female who was in a household with an income above the national average. In addition, the survey found that the average casino patron was older than 45 and had more free time to spend.