A casino, also known as a gaming house or gambling hall, is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Most casinos offer a wide variety of games such as blackjack, poker and roulette. Many also feature live entertainment such as musical acts or stand-up comedy. Casinos are located in cities around the world and are often combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants and other tourist attractions.

Casinos are designed to ensure that they, and not their patrons, make a profit. Each game has a built-in advantage, known as the house edge, that allows the casino to earn money over time. The casino’s profit is also guaranteed by the fact that it is very rare for a casino to lose money on any given day.

Because of the large amounts of currency handled by casinos, cheating and stealing by patrons and staff are common. To reduce these problems, casinos use a variety of security measures. These include surveillance cameras, which are placed throughout the facility and monitor all areas of operation. Casinos are also required to keep all betting information confidential.

Gambling in some form is believed to have existed in almost every society throughout history. However, it wasn’t until the early 1960s that casinos began to realize that they couldn’t simply rely on black jack and roulette to attract visitors. As a result, they started offering lavish inducements such as free spectacular shows, transportation and luxury hotel rooms. This trend continues today. While some casinos focus on attracting high rollers with big bets, others are making a concerted effort to promote themselves as family destinations.