A casino is a place where people gamble by playing games of chance or skill. The games often involve a fixed amount of money, and the house always has an advantage over the players, called the house edge. In some games the house also takes a commission, known as the rake. Casinos may also give out free goods or services to their best customers, known as comps.

Most casinos are located in cities with large populations, especially those near airports. The most famous casino is probably the Bellagio in Las Vegas, which has been featured in countless movies and television shows. However, there are many others. These include the Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monaco and the Casino Baden-Baden in Germany.

Gambling has been part of human culture for millennia. Evidence of dice games dates back to 2300 BC, and card games appeared in Europe in the 1400s. In the early 1980s, Nevada became the first state to legalize casinos, and more opened in the United States. Other states followed suit, and casinos now are found in a variety of places, including Atlantic City and New Jersey, on American Indian reservations and in Puerto Rico.

Security is a major issue for casino patrons. On the casino floor, security employees watch over table games with a close eye to spot blatant cheating such as palming or marking cards. A casino may have a high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” surveillance system, with cameras in the ceiling that monitor every table and slot machine in the building. The video feeds are monitored in a room full of banks of security monitors and can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons.