A casino is a place where people can gamble and play games of chance. It can also offer a variety of other amenities, such as top-notch hotels and spas, restaurants, and live entertainment. The term casino may also refer to a specific game, such as blackjack or roulette. Casino gambling is legal in many countries, and casinos are often modeled after historic Roman or Greek temples.

Gambling almost certainly predates recorded history, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice among the earliest archaeological finds. But the idea of a dedicated facility for a wide range of games under one roof did not develop until the 16th century, when a glitzy gambling craze swept Europe and Italian nobles began hosting private parties at places called ridotti.

The casino as we know it today has evolved from these modest beginnings into sprawling complexes that are more like indoor amusement parks than anything else. While the glitz of musical shows, lighted fountains and shopping centers may draw in the crowds, casinos would not exist without the billions of dollars raked in each year from gaming operations such as slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and baccarat.

Casinos employ a mix of security measures to ensure the safety of their guests and the integrity of their games. This includes a physical security force and a specialized department that uses closed circuit television to monitor the premises. In addition, dealers and pit bosses have a keen eye for any signs of cheating, such as palming or marking cards. And in the case of table games, casinos routinely inspect roulette wheels and dice to spot any statistical deviations from their expected results.