A casino is a place where people can gamble on games of chance. It includes table and card games as well as slot machines and other types of gambling equipment. Casinos can be found worldwide, from massive resorts in Las Vegas to small card rooms in rural Iowa. They draw billions in revenue each year for their owners, shareholders, corporations, and investors. They also make money for state and local governments that tax them.

The first casinos developed in the 16th century, during a gambling craze. Although there are primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice in some of the oldest archaeological sites, the idea of a single facility where people could find a variety of ways to gamble did not emerge until then. [Source: Schwartz]

Many modern casinos offer an array of other amenities in addition to gaming, including restaurants, free drinks, and stage shows. These extras cost money, but they can help a casino attract and keep customers.

Successful casinos spend a lot of time and money on security. They have extensive surveillance systems that give them a “eye in the sky” view of their patrons and the games. Casino employees watch every table, window, and doorway for signs of cheating. In some of the more sophisticated casinos, chip tracking allows them to see exact amounts wagered minute by minute and warn staff quickly if there is a statistical deviation. Similarly, roulette wheels are electronically monitored to ensure that the numbers are not tampered with.