A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. It may also be combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, cruise ships or other tourist attractions. The term is derived from the Latin casus, meaning “house of games.” The concept of a place where people could find a variety of gambling activities under one roof developed in the 16th century, during a gambling craze that swept Europe. Italian aristocrats would gather in private parties called ridotti to play dice and other games; these were similar to modern casinos.

A casino’s profitability depends largely on the revenue it generates through gambling. Although musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels help draw customers in, the billions of dollars in profits raked in by casinos every year come from games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and keno make up the bulk of the revenue generated by casinos.

Because large amounts of money are involved, casinos spend a great deal of time and effort on security. Employees patrol the floor, looking for blatant cheating and suspicious behavior. Security cameras are located throughout the facility, and are constantly monitored by security personnel in a room filled with banks of security monitors.

Some casinos offer comps to their players. These perks are generally given to high-volume gamblers who are deemed to be worthy of them by the casino’s management team. Often, they include free hotel rooms, meals, tickets to shows and even airline tickets.