A casino is a public place where people can play a wide variety of games of chance. These include card games, dice games and gambling devices such as the roulette wheel. Casinos also offer various inducements to gamblers. These can include free spectacular entertainment, reduced-fare transportation, hotel rooms and food and drinks. A casino is a business and must ensure that all patrons are treated fairly. In most countries a casino must be licensed to operate and must comply with local laws.
Casinos are a worldwide phenomenon. They first became popular in Nevada, where they attracted visitors from all over the United States. Then they expanded to Atlantic City and elsewhere in the United States. In the 1970s many American Indian tribes began opening casinos on their reservations. Then several European countries changed their laws and allowed them to open.
Although the precise origin of gambling is unknown, it has been around for thousands of years. Gambling in some form has been a part of almost every culture. The first governmental prohibition of casinos came in 1931, but legalized casinos have grown ever since.
While some casinos merely provide a place for gamblers to place bets, others go much further with extravagant buildings and other amenities. Some are modeled after famous places such as the Paris Opera House, while others have been designed by legendary architects and feature such exotic locales as Rome or Macau. The typical casino patron is a forty-six-year-old woman from an upper-middle class household with above average income, according to research conducted by Roper Reports GfK NOP and the U.S. Gaming Panel by TNS.