A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. These casinos are often combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships and other tourist attractions. Casinos are also known for hosting live entertainment events such as concerts and stand-up comedy.

The precise origin of casino gambling is unknown, but it is widely believed that it predates recorded history. Primitive protodice and carved knuckle bones have been found at archaeological sites, but the casino as a place for a wide variety of gambling games under one roof did not emerge until the 16th century when a gambling craze swept Europe and Italian nobles hosted private parties in places called ridotti (plural of rizzo).

While musical shows, lighted fountains and shopping centers may draw people to a casino, the billions of dollars that casinos rake in each year come from gamblers who play table games like blackjack, roulette and craps; slot machines; poker; and even wager on sports and other activities that are conducted by live dealers. The house always has an advantage in these games and the amount of that edge varies from game to game, but it is small enough that the casino can profit immensely.

To keep their profits high, casinos focus on getting patrons to spend as much time and money as possible in their facilities. They do this by offering a wide range of perks known as comps. These vary from free food and drinks to room discounts and show tickets to limo service and airline tickets. The amount of money spent in a casino is tracked by using cards that patrons must present before placing their bets; the information is then fed into a computer system that tracks and rewards players based on their spending habits.