A casino (also called a gambling house or a kasino) is an establishment that offers various types of gambling. It may also offer food and beverage services, and/or live entertainment. A casino is considered a major tourist attraction and is often built in or near hotels, resorts, cruise ships, and other vacation destinations. Some casinos are operated by governments, while others are owned and operated by private corporations.

While gambling almost certainly predates recorded history, the casino as an institution was founded in the 16th century during a gambling craze that swept Europe. The earliest casinos were small saloons where patrons could try their luck at dice, cards, and other games of chance. During this time, many of the earliest known casinos were located in European cities, including Monte Carlo, which continues to be a leading casino destination to this day.

In the United States, casinos first appeared in Atlantic City and on American Indian reservations, where they were not subject to state anti-gambling laws. During the 1980s and ’90s, a number of states legalized casinos, some in downtown Las Vegas and others on riverboats and Indian reservations.

Modern casinos are usually large, air-conditioned buildings that feature multiple gambling areas, each with its own theme and type of games. Table games are the most popular, with several variants of each available, such as blackjack, roulette, and craps. Casinos also offer video poker and slot machines, which are usually linked to a progressive jackpot.