A casino is a place where gambling takes place. Casinos can include card games, table games such as roulette and craps, and video poker. Many casinos also offer food and drink, and show a variety of entertainment such as stage shows or dancing. Some are located in a hotel, while others stand alone. In the United States, about 51 million people visited a casino in 2002.

Casinos often have security measures in place to deter cheating and theft by patrons or staff. These may include cameras, as well as rules and regulations governing behavior, such as keeping one’s hands visible at all times when playing poker. Casinos are also likely to have security guards, especially at entrances.

Gambling in some form has been a part of human culture for millennia. Evidence of early game-playing has been found in 2300 BC China, with dice making an appearance around 500 AD and playing cards by the 1400s. Modern casinos are built with the idea of making money, and attracting large numbers of visitors to boost revenue.

To draw in gamblers, some casinos offer perks such as discounted travel packages or free hotel rooms and buffet meals. Some casinos even have their own luxury brands such as Hermes or Chanel boutiques. However, some studies indicate that compulsive gamblers generate a disproportionately large share of profits for casinos and that the cost of treating problem gamblers offsets any economic gains that casinos may make.