A casino is a place where people can play games of chance or skill. The games are usually played against the house and are mostly based on luck, although some have an element of strategy or bluffing. The casino also provides a number of extras to attract gamblers, including restaurants and free drinks.
Most casinos offer a variety of games, including poker, baccarat, blackjack and roulette. Some even offer traditional Far Eastern games such as sic bo, fan-tan and pai gow. In addition, many casinos have a range of other entertainment options such as floor shows and dramatic scenery.
Gambling is often loud and crowded, with the casino designed around noise and excitement. People shout out encouragement, and drinks are frequently served by waiters circulating through the gambling area. Casinos also provide a wide variety of incentives to encourage gamblers, known as comps. These include discounted or free hotel rooms, meals and show tickets.
As casinos have become more popular, some of them have begun to expand their services to include restaurants, spas and other amenities. The American Gaming Association estimates that about 51 million people visited casinos in the United States in 2002. This is an increase of about 3% from 2001. Internationally, the figure is estimated at about double that. Most of these visits are legal. Nevertheless, there are concerns about the effect that increased gambling may have on crime, health and family life. Some countries have banned casinos altogether, while others regulate them.