A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Typically, casinos are built near or combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops, and other entertainment venues. In some countries, casinos are legalized by government regulation. Many of these establishments offer a wide range of games. Some are also known for providing live entertainment events, such as concerts and stand-up comedy.

The precise origin of gambling is difficult to pinpoint, but it is believed that it has been a popular pastime throughout history. Evidence of gambling activities can be found in ancient Mesopotamia, China, the Roman Republic and Elizabethan England. In modern times, casino gambling has become a major source of revenue for a number of countries. The popularity of casino games such as roulette, blackjack and poker has grown tremendously.

Despite their widespread availability, casino games are not without risk. Most games provide a predictable long-term advantage to the house, but some have skill elements that can reduce this edge. Players who possess sufficient skills to eliminate the house edge are known as advantage players.

Given the large amounts of money handled within a casino, patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal, in collusion or independently. To deter these actions, most casinos employ security measures. These often include a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. Casinos also use advanced technology to monitor and supervise their games. For example, some casinos use betting chips with built-in microcircuitry to allow them to track the exact amounts wagered minute-by-minute, and roulette wheels are electronically monitored to discover any statistical deviations.