A casino, or gaming house, is a gambling establishment that offers table games like poker and blackjack, as well as slot machines. It also offers entertainment shows and sometimes dining options. Most states have legalized casinos, and some have large casino resorts. Others have smaller, more intimate casinos. Most casinos require guests to be of legal age to gamble. Some offer free drinks to visitors while they play.

Casinos may be built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops and other attractions. Some are operated by governments, while others are private businesses. Some casinos specialize in certain types of games, such as poker or horse racing.

While luck is a major factor in casino gambling, skill and knowledge are also important. Historically, many casinos have employed high levels of security, including surveillance cameras and a system of rules that requires players to keep their hands visible at all times. In addition, some casinos have catwalks that allow surveillance personnel to look down on the game tables and slot machines.

The elegant spa town of Baden-Baden first became a playground for Europe’s elite 150 years ago, drawing royalty and aristocracy from across the continent. Today, its elegant casino lives up to its reputation as one of the most beautiful in the world, with baroque flourishes throughout the red-and-gold poker rooms and around its plethora of blackjack and roulette tables. Meanwhile, the glittering cityscape of Macau on China’s east coast is topped by the Grand Lisboa, which is the largest casino in the world.