The term Casino is most often used to refer to a large gambling establishment in Las Vegas, but there are casinos of many sizes and types around the world. Some are small businesses defined by the type of gambling they offer, while others are sprawling resorts combining casino games with dining, entertainment and other amenities.

Casinos make money by charging a commission on the bets placed by patrons, which is called vig or rake. They also make a profit from table games such as blackjack and baccarat by taking a percentage of the money bet or charging an hourly fee to play. Casinos are distinguished from other gambling venues by the use of security measures to deter cheating and stealing. Often, these involve the use of cameras and electronic monitoring of game results.

In the early days of legalized gambling in Nevada, casinos were founded by organized crime figures who could afford the large start-up costs. They took sole or partial ownership of many casinos and provided the initial cash to keep them in business until legitimate investors were willing to risk their money.

Casinos are typically located in areas with high populations of people who are likely to gamble, such as tourist destinations or areas with large numbers of military personnel. In 2005, the typical casino gambler was a forty-six-year-old female from a household with above-average income. This demographic accounted for 23% of all casino gamblers, according to the National Profile Study by Roper Reports GfK NOP and the U.S. Gaming Panel by TNS.