A casino is a gambling establishment, usually a large building, that offers various types of games of chance and, in some cases, skill. The games of chance, such as blackjack, roulette and baccarat, are typically conducted by live croupiers. The games of skill, such as poker, allow players to compete against each other. In either case, the casino earns money by charging a commission, known as a rake, to players who win.

Casinos aim to keep patrons happy and minimize their awareness of time by providing lavish d├ęcor, rich carpeting, dim lighting and a variety of entertainment. Some casinos also display a high-value prize, such as a sports car, to add an element of mystery and excitement.

The casino industry was largely controlled by organized crime syndicates until the 1980s, when legalized gambling began to proliferate. At that point, mafia leaders decided to become directly involved in the business, and often took sole or partial ownership of some casinos. They provided the cash needed to attract Americans to the Nevada desert, and they created gambling destinations that became world-renowned.

While some casinos are small and local, others are huge and luxurious. Some, such as the Bellagio in Las Vegas, are so famous that they can be seen in movies and TV shows. Other famous casinos include the Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monaco, the Casino Lisboa in Lisbon, and the elegant spa town of Baden-Baden in Germany. By some estimates, there are more than 1,000 casinos worldwide.