A casino, also known as a gaming hall or a gambling establishment, is a place where people can play various games of chance for money. The casino industry is a massive one, earning billions each year for the casinos themselves as well as their investors and owners, and providing millions in taxes to local governments. People may gamble in large, luxurious resorts such as Las Vegas or smaller places such as card rooms. In addition, casino-style games are sometimes found in racetracks as racinos and even bars and grocery stores.

Gambling in some form has been around since prehistoric times, with primitive dice known as astragali and carved knuckle bones appearing in ancient archaeological sites. But the modern casino as we know it developed in the 16th century during a gambling craze in Europe, with wealthy nobles hosting parties in private spaces called ridotti that were technically illegal.

Casinos attract patrons by offering them a variety of perks and rewards that encourage them to spend more money. These are called comps, and they can include free hotel stays, meals, show tickets, and limo service for high-rollers. Many casinos also preach responsible gambling, with many listing contact information for organisations that can provide advice and help to problem gamblers.

Casino security starts on the casino floor, where dealers have their eyes constantly on the action to make sure no one is cheating or stealing. In addition, a casino’s security staff watches over each game area with a broader view of the entire room, noticing betting patterns that might indicate cheating.