A casino is an establishment where people can gamble. While gambling likely predates recorded history, the modern casino evolved in the 16th century as a result of a craze for dice games. Casinos usually feature a variety of gambling games and are often combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops, and other tourist attractions. Some casinos even host live entertainment.

Aside from the obvious danger of losing money, casinos pose a number of problems to society. Compulsive gamblers generate a large proportion of casino profits, and studies show that their activity shifts spending away from other forms of entertainment. In addition, they erode the economic health of communities by diverting money from local businesses and into the casinos.

The most popular casino games include table games such as blackjack and roulette, and slot machines. Most of these games have a built-in statistical advantage for the house, though the amount varies by game. While some players may try to beat the house, security staff is always on the lookout for blatant cheating such as palming, marking or switching cards and dice.

Security begins on the casino floor, where employees constantly watch patrons and their actions. Dealers are focused on their own game and can spot blatant cheating quickly; pit bosses and table managers have a broader view of the tables and watch for betting patterns that could signal cheating. In addition, many casinos employ technology to monitor and supervise the games themselves. For example, chip tracking allows them to oversee the exact amounts wagered on each machine minute by minute, and electronic monitoring of roulette wheels ensures that any statistical deviation from their expected results is spotted immediately.