A casino is a building or large room where gambling is legal. In the United States casinos are mostly found in states that have legalized gambling, and the industry is regulated by state law. Casinos offer a variety of games, including blackjack, roulette, poker, craps, and slot machines. They also feature live entertainment, top-notch hotels, and spas.

Gambling in some form has been a part of human culture for millennia, and casinos are generally seen as a source of excitement and glamour. According to the American Gaming Association about 51 million people—a quarter of all Americans over 21—visited a casino in 2002. Historically, the casino has been a major source of revenue for many cities and countries, especially in the United States. Casinos were introduced in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 1978, and they have since spread throughout the world. American Indian reservations, where state antigambling laws do not apply, have also opened casinos. In addition, the growth of the slot machine has made these devices the economic backbone of modern casinos.

Casinos strive to give patrons a sense of glamour and excitement, so they offer a wide range of services and amenities beyond just gambling. For example, the Bellagio in Las Vegas features a branch of New York’s swank Le Cirque restaurant and Hermes and Chanel boutiques. Some even provide guests with private jets, though this is more common in Europe where it is permitted under gaming laws.