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A casino is a gambling establishment offering games of chance and other entertainment for people who are willing to risk money. The games may include slot machines, video poker, blackjack, and craps, among other things. The establishments are designed to be exciting and energetic, with music playing and lights flashing. In addition to gambling, many casinos offer food and drinks for their patrons. Some also have spas and wedding chapels.

Like other businesses in a capitalist society, casinos are in business to make money. Successful ones rake in billions each year for the companies, investors, and Native American tribes that own them. State and local governments also reap casino revenues in the form of taxes and fees. In the United States, the most famous casino is Las Vegas. Its glitzy hotels and casinos are known around the world.

The most popular casino game in the United States is slot machines. In March 2002, Gemini Research surveyed Nevada citizens and found that of the 84,379 adults who admitted to participating in some form of gambling during the previous year, 50 percent preferred slot machines. Table games (including card games and poker) were the second most popular with 30 percent, followed by bingo and keno with just under five percent each. Other games, such as roulette and craps, attracted only a fraction of the participants’ attention.

Most casinos are crowded during the day with gamblers and their entourages. At night they fill up with tourists looking for a night of fun and self-indulgence. Some visitors travel the world specifically to visit a new casino, while others inadvertently end up at one when they are searching for something else.

In general, casino patrons are upscale and well-off. According to a study by Roper Reports and GfK NOP, the typical casino gambler is a forty-six-year-old female from a household with above-average income. Older parents, who often have more free time and disposable income than younger adults, are also common casino patrons.

Besides focusing on customer service, casino managers try to stimulate spending by providing perks for their high rollers and frequent players. The perks are called comps, and they include discounted rooms, meals, shows, and free slot play. Some casinos even have private planes for their top customers.

Most casinos also offer traditional Far Eastern games such as sic bo, fan-tan, and pai gow. These games, along with baccarat and craps, help attract Asian tourists who have become the largest source of revenue for casinos worldwide. Other traditional casino games that are not available everywhere include two-up, boule, kalooki, and banca francesa. Some casinos also feature electronic versions of these games for convenience and ease of use. Unlike their ancestors, who were built around a large central gaming table, the modern incarnations of these games require fewer players. As a result, they are more accessible to a wider audience. This is especially true for online versions of these games, which are easier to navigate on a smaller screen and can be played anywhere.