A casino is a place where people can find many different ways to gamble under one roof. It might have a few restaurants, hotels, spas and other entertainment facilities. However, the main focus is on gambling. A casino is also a place that tries to attract people and keep them there by offering perks, such as free drinks or food.

Gambling has long been a popular pastime in societies around the world. It has probably been in existence as long as civilization itself, with primitive protodice (cut knuckle bones) and carved dice being found at ancient archaeological sites [Source: Schwartz]. The modern casino has its origins in the 16th century when the gambling craze swept Europe. Wealthy Italian nobles would hold private parties at houses called ridotti, where they could enjoy a wide variety of games. While technically illegal, the owners were rarely bothered by the authorities [Source: Schwartz].

While a casino is primarily a place to gamble, it also must provide a level of security. Because large amounts of money are handled within a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. To avoid these pitfalls, casinos use a variety of security measures.

The typical casino patron is an older person with a household income above the national average. Women make up the largest group of casino gamblers. They are more likely to be married than single, and they tend to play the most exotic games.