A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. It is often built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships, and other tourist attractions. The casinos feature table games such as blackjack, roulette, and craps, as well as video poker machines. They also feature a variety of other entertainment options such as live music and shows.
Casinos use a variety of psychological tricks to persuade gamblers to spend money. They orient the floor to encourage wandering eyes toward more betting opportunities, use flashy lights, and make noises to attract attention. The sound of slot machines is electronically tuned to the musical key of C to be pleasing to human ears, and 15,000 miles (24,100 km) of neon tubing are used to light up casino floors.
Gambling at a casino is a legal activity under state law, but casinos are often run by private interests that are separate from government agencies. The owners of casinos control the house edge, which is the mathematical advantage the casino has over players. Casinos hire mathematicians to analyze game strategy and improve the profitability of their operations.
Most casinos offer complimentary items or “comps” to their patrons in order to persuade them to spend more money. These perks include free meals, drinks, and show tickets. Many casinos also have clubs that function like frequent-flyer programs, in which gamblers swipe cards to track their spending and tally up points they can redeem for additional gambling time or free or discounted food, drinks, or rooms.