A casino (also called a gambling house or a gaming establishment) is a place where people can gamble. Some casinos are standalone buildings, while others are located within or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, cruise ships, and/or other tourist attractions. In addition to gambling, casinos often feature entertainment such as concerts and stand-up comedy.

Casinos are highly regulated and must adhere to strict standards of operation, security, and integrity. Many governments regulate the type of games that may be played, the minimum and maximum bet amounts, and the amount of money a patron can win or lose in a given period of time. Casinos also employ a large staff of security personnel to prevent cheating and other violations.

The concept of a casino as a place where people can find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof is relatively new. While gambling has probably occurred throughout history in some form—primitive protodice and carved knuckle bones have been found at archaeological sites—the modern casino began in the 16th century with a gambling craze in Europe that led to the creation of small, exclusive clubs for Italian aristocrats known as ridotti (“little houses”).

The modern casino is a complex enterprise with three major parts: gaming machines, table games, and random number games. Gaming machines, such as slot machines, allow multiple players to gamble simultaneously and do not require the involvement of a dealer. In contrast, table games such as blackjack and craps involve one or more dealers who are trained to spot suspicious behavior. Random number games are based on selecting random numbers from a database or other sources. Casino mathematicians and computer programmers analyze this data to determine the house edge for each game and to predict expected return on investment.