Casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Casinos are often built near or combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships or other tourist attractions. In the United States, casinos are primarily located in Nevada and Atlantic City.
Despite the fact that gambling probably predates recorded history, the casino as an institution came into being in the 16th century, during a period when a gambling craze swept Europe. Initially, casinos were private clubs for the elite, known as ridotti (plural of ridotto), with members paying an annual fee to use the facilities. These were the ancestors of modern casinos, which generally combine a variety of ways to gamble under one roof.
In modern casino gaming, most games are based on chance, with some having a small element of skill. The casino makes its money through a combination of a percentage of all bets placed, called the house edge, and commissions on some games, such as poker where players compete against each other. Some casinos also give free goods and services to some of their regular patrons, known as comps.
Something about gambling — perhaps the presence of large amounts of money — encourages people to cheat and steal, either in collusion or independently. As a result, casinos spend a great deal of time and money on security. Cameras are the most basic, but many casinos have other measures as well. Staff are trained to spot telltale signs of fraud, such as marking or switching cards, and to watch for suspicious behavior such as dildoing and yanking on dice.