A casino is a gambling establishment that houses a variety of games of chance. It may offer food, drink and other entertainment in addition to the games of chance. Casinos typically have large amounts of money handled on a regular basis, and security is a big concern. Because of this, many casinos have unique structural features like catwalks that let surveillance personnel look down on activities at tables and slot machines.

Gambling in some form probably predates recorded history, with primitive proto-dice and carved six-sided dice found at archaeological sites [Source: Schwartz]. However, the modern casino as a place where people could find a variety of different ways to gamble under one roof did not appear until the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe. Italian aristocrats held private parties called ridotti, where gambling was the main activity. Since that time, the casino has become a worldwide phenomenon.

Casinos make money by offering a built-in advantage for the house on each bet placed. This can be as low as two percent, but over millions of bets this edge adds up to a lot of money. Casinos also generate revenue through the sale of drinks, food and cigars, and from the admission fee for spectators at some games.

Something about casinos seems to inspire both patrons and employees to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. To prevent this, many casinos use a variety of security measures, including cameras, and have rules and other requirements for the behavior of players and spectators.