A casino is a gambling establishment that allows patrons to gamble in a variety of games of chance or skill. Most casinos also offer dining and other entertainment services. A casino may be a standalone building or part of a large resort complex, such as the Hotel Casino Lisboa in Lisbon, Portugal. Casinos have long been a popular attraction for vacationers, who are often drawn by their opulent design and flashing lights. Some people travel the world specifically to visit casinos, while others find themselves in a casino by accident and end up having a great time.

A majority of casinos have card-based loyalty programs that reward frequent visitors with free or discounted games, meals and show tickets. These programs are designed to encourage repeat visits and increase customer spending. They are also an effective marketing tool for casinos. Casinos hire mathematicians and computer programmers to develop sophisticated analysis tools, including house edge and variance calculations, to aid their game development and marketing efforts.

The origin of casino gambling is not clearly defined, but it is generally accepted that there was a societal need for entertainment that did not necessarily involve violence. Since ancient times, humans have entertained themselves with games of chance and skill. Modern casino gambling has been around for over 200 years, and has fascinated millions of visitors. It is also featured in popular culture, with movies and novels romanticizing the high-stakes tables surrounded by glamorous patrons in tuxedos or evening gowns.