A Casino is a gambling establishment that offers a variety of games of chance to its patrons. Games include slot machines, poker, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat, and video poker. Most of these games have a certain degree of skill, but the house always has an advantage over the players in terms of mathematical expectation, also known as the house edge. The casino’s revenue is generated by charging a fee to its customers in exchange for the opportunity to gamble. Casinos may also give out complimentary items or comps to its players, although this is not standard.
Casinos are typically located in cities with large numbers of tourists. The most famous is probably Las Vegas, but there are also casinos in many other countries and cities. In the United States, the most popular casino games are slots and table games such as blackjack and roulette. In addition, many casinos feature restaurants and entertainment venues.
Gambling has existed in some form or another since the dawn of recorded history. Primitive protodice and carved knuckle bones have been found at archaeological sites, and the earliest casinos were small clubs for Italian aristocrats called ridotti [Source: Schwartz]. Modern casino culture is largely the result of American expansion and legalization of gambling, with the first state to allow it being Nevada. The success of Las Vegas and Atlantic City prompted other areas to follow suit.
Because of the huge amounts of money that are handled within a casino, it is inevitable that some people will try to cheat or steal, either in collusion with other patrons or on their own. This is why casinos spend a great deal of time and money on security. In the modern casino, security is usually divided between a physical force and a specialized surveillance department.