Casino is a gaming establishment where people gamble with money and sometimes other items of value. It is also known as a gambling house, and in many countries is legal. Casinos usually have multiple gaming areas and offer a variety of games and services to their customers. The largest casinos in the world are located in the United States and China.

A casino is a business and as such must make a profit. This is accomplished through the use of built-in advantages that ensure it will win more than it loses, or at least break even. These advantages, called the “house edge” are built into every game offered.

While gambling in some form can be found throughout human history, the modern casino as we know it developed during a period of European expansion in the late 1600s. It likely stemmed from the popularity of games such as baccarat, trente-et-quatre in France and blackjack and poker in America. The word itself probably came from small private clubhouses where Italian aristocrats gathered for social occasions; these were called ridotti [Source: Schwartz].

The large amounts of currency handled in a casino create opportunities for cheating and theft, either through collusion between patrons or by independent means by staff members. To counter these dangers, casinos employ a number of security measures. Security cameras placed throughout the facility are a basic measure. Some casinos have a high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” that allows security personnel to watch the entire facility from a room filled with banks of monitors.