A casino is a place where people can gamble. Although gambling probably existed in some form before recorded history (primitive protodice, cut knuckle bones and carved six-sided dice have been found at many archaeological sites), the modern casino as an all-in-one entertainment destination with several forms of gambling under one roof did not develop until the 16th century. It was at this time that a casino craze swept Europe and wealthy Italian nobles would often host private parties in gambling establishments known as ridotti [Source: Schwartz].

The word Casino can also refer to a specific building or complex where these activities are taking place. A number of countries have legalized casinos. In the United States, the majority of casinos are located in Nevada, with the highest concentration in Las Vegas. In Canada, there are a number of gaming facilities that have become full-fledged vacation destinations, featuring hotels, restaurants and eye-popping casino floors.

Because casinos handle large amounts of cash, they are susceptible to security problems. Patrons may be tempted to cheat and steal, either in collusion with other players or independently. To counter this, most casinos employ security cameras and enforce rules of conduct and behavior. In addition, the patterns of behavior that are expected at different types of games, such as the way in which cards are shuffled and dealt or the expected reactions to certain card combinations, make it easier for security personnel to spot deviations from these patterns.