Casino is a place where people play gambling games, usually with chips that represent money. Modern casinos often have stage shows, restaurants and other luxuries to help attract players and provide an overall entertainment experience. But the vast majority of a casino’s profits come from gambling, which is based on chance. The mathematical advantage of a casino over its patrons can be very small, but over millions of bets it adds up to enough money to pay for lighted fountains, elaborate hotels and even replicas of world famous pyramids and towers.

Gambling almost certainly predates recorded history, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice found in the earliest archaeological sites [Source: Schwartz]. But casinos as places where people could find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof did not appear until the 16th century. At that time, a gambling craze swept Europe, and rich nobles and royalty gathered at private clubs known as ridotti to play their favorite games.

Today, casinos are like indoor amusement parks for adults, and gambling is the primary source of their billions in profits every year. But as with any business, there is a dark side to the casino industry: a small percentage of patrons lose a great deal of money and may become addicted to gambling. Casinos spend a lot of money on security measures to prevent cheating, theft and other crimes that can occur in the presence of large amounts of cash.