A casino is a gambling establishment that accepts wagers on games of chance or skill. The establishments are sometimes called gambling houses or gaming rooms, and are usually regulated by government authorities to ensure honesty and fairness. There are many different types of casino games, but all of them have one thing in common: the house always has an advantage over the players. This advantage is known as the house edge, and it is the primary source of revenue for casinos. The house edge exists because of the law of large numbers and the fact that most players do not make optimal decisions.

The house edge is not uniform for all games, however; it varies depending on the rules of each game and the skill level of the players. In the case of table games such as blackjack and craps, the house’s edge is derived from a mathematical expectation calculated using basic strategy (without the use of advanced card counting techniques). Casinos also generate revenue through a commission known as the rake, which is taken from each hand played.

The casino has become a major tourist attraction in cities such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City, and is a primary economic driver of those regions. In addition, casinos provide employment opportunities for a significant number of people. Because of the large amount of money handled within a casino, both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. For this reason, casinos employ numerous security measures.