A casino is a gambling establishment offering a wide variety of games of chance and in some cases skill. Most casinos also offer free food, drinks and entertainment. Many of the world’s best known casinos are in Las Vegas, but there are many other great places to try your luck around the globe.

Security is a high priority for casinos. The staff is trained to spot cheating, stealing or suspicious patrons and to report them to the proper authorities. Dealers are closely watched for blatant palming, marking and switching cards and dice, while pit bosses and table managers watch over the tables with a broader view to ensure that no one is stealing from other players or committing any other kind of fraud. Cameras in the ceiling provide an “eye-in-the-sky” view of the entire casino and can be focused to hone in on specific patrons by security workers in a separate room filled with banks of monitors.

Casinos are a major source of revenue for the governments of many countries, especially in areas where gambling is legal. Some governments regulate the operations of casinos, while others don’t. In general, the revenues generated by casinos help to supplement the incomes of other types of businesses in those regions.

Although gambling probably predates written history (with primitive protodice and carved knuckle bones), the modern casino as an all-encompassing facility for multiple forms of gaming didn’t emerge until the 16th century during a resurgence of popularity for games like roulette, blackjack and poker. These events coincided with a resurgence of private clubs for wealthy people, known as ridotti, where they could gamble in peace away from the prying eyes of public authorities.