A casino is a public place that houses a variety of gambling activities. It uses a range of tricks to lure patrons, including bright colors and gaudy decor that stimulate the senses. It also uses sounds, such as clanging bells and the whir of slot machines. The sound of the machines is electronically tuned to a musical key to entice players.

In the past, many casinos were run by organized crime. Mobster money helped to finance many of the early Las Vegas and Reno casinos, and the gangsters often became personally involved, taking sole or partial ownership of some casinos and even attempting to influence game outcomes. Ultimately, federal crackdowns and the risk of losing a gaming license at any hint of mafia involvement forced mobsters out of the casinos. Real estate investors and hotel chains, which had much deeper pockets than the mafia, moved in, buying out the mobster owners and turning casinos into major tourist attractions.

Casinos are designed to draw in a high volume of patrons, and the vast majority of their revenue comes from gambling. The games include slot machines, blackjack, roulette and craps, as well as poker, baccarat and more. Each game has its own rules and house edge, but most of these are relatively low, compared to the amount of money that can be won or lost. Casinos also rely on customer service to attract and keep gamblers. They offer perks such as free food and drinks, discounted travel packages and free show tickets to big spenders.