A casino is a gambling establishment that accepts bets on games of chance. It is a popular pastime and draws visitors from all over the world. Casinos generate billions of dollars each year for the companies, investors and Native American tribes that own them. They also bring in significant tax revenues for local and state governments.

In the United States, casinos are licensed and regulated by the state where they operate. Some states also allow casinos on riverboats and at racetracks, where they are called racinos.

The business of casino gambling is booming worldwide, with over 40 states now offering some form of legalized gaming. The industry is dominated by Nevada, which has more than 1,000 casinos, but it’s spreading rapidly: new states are clamoring to become part of the “resort destination” trend.

Casinos make money by taking a small percentage of each bet placed. This advantage can be as low as two percent, but over the millions of bets made by patrons each year, it adds up to huge profits. The profit is known as the house edge, and it is built into each game offered.

Many casinos use advanced technology to improve security and ensure fair play. For example, in some American casinos, a player’s betting chips contain built-in microcircuitry that interacts with the casino’s electronic system to oversee the exact amounts wagered minute by minute. Roulette wheels are electronically monitored regularly to discover any statistical deviations that might indicate cheating or other illegal activity.