A casino is a place where gambling games are played. It is also a facility for various entertainment activities and can include restaurants, theaters, stage shows, and other attractions. Casinos house many different kinds of games of chance, from slots and keno to roulette and blackjack. Casinos often have strict rules on how players must act and where they can sit or stand while playing.

While some forms of gambling have been around for a long time, the modern casino emerged in the 16th century during a period of gambling mania. This craze led to a number of private parties for wealthy Europeans called ridotti, which were places where they could play a variety of gambling games under one roof. While casinos add a host of other amenities to help lure in gamblers, they would not exist without the games of chance themselves.

Casino security starts on the casino floor with employees manning slot machines and table games, keeping an eye out for blatant cheating like palming, marking, or switching dice or cards. On the ceiling, cameras give a high-tech eye-in-the-sky view of all tables and windows. They can be adjusted to focus on specific suspicious patrons by security workers in a separate room filled with banks of surveillance monitors.

Casinos take a number of other steps to keep gamblers happy, including free food and drink and the fact that they only accept chips instead of actual cash (this makes it harder for players to track how much money they are losing). Brightly colored walls and floors can have a cheering effect, and clocks are usually missing from casino walls in favor of pulsating music.