What Is a Casino?

A casino, also known as a gambling house or a gaming room, is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Modern casinos are primarily large complexes that offer a variety of gambling games. They may include hotel rooms, restaurants, shopping centers and other entertainment facilities. A casino’s primary source of revenue is the money wagered by patrons on various casino games. Casinos also have other ways to make money, such as a lottery and keno.

A modern casino has a very high level of security, because of the large amount of money that is handled within them. Employees are trained to notice suspicious behavior and are often supervised by management personnel. In addition, casino security is typically divided into two departments: a physical security force that patrols the casino floor and responds to calls for help or reports of definite criminal activity; and a specialized surveillance department that operates a network of video cameras throughout the facility.

Gambling probably predates recorded history, with primitive protodice and carved knucklebones found in archaeological sites. The modern casino began to develop in the 16th century, during a gambling craze that swept Europe. It became common for wealthy Italian nobles to hold parties at their houses, called ridotti, where they could gamble privately without being bothered by legal authorities. The popularity of these parties led to the creation of the first modern casinos, in places such as Monte Carlo and Venice. Casinos soon spread to other countries, including America, where they were introduced in Atlantic City and New Jersey and on American Indian reservations, which are exempt from state anti-gambling laws.