A casino (also known as a gambling house or a kasino) is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Casinos are often combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops or cruise ships and are located in countries with legalized gambling.

Although gambling probably predates recorded history, the modern casino as an institution offering a variety of ways to gamble under one roof did not emerge until the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe and Italian aristocrats established private gaming clubs called ridotti [Source: Schwartz]. Most casinos offer a mixture of table games and slot machines. The simplest of these games is a slot machine, in which the player puts in money, pulls a handle or pushes a button and watches as bands of colored shapes roll on reels (either actual physical reels or video representations). If the right pattern appears, the player receives a payout, which is typically fixed at a predetermined amount.

Many casinos also have card games and keno, in addition to slot machines. In these games, players compete against each other, and the house makes a profit by taking a commission, or rake. The games are regulated by law and monitored by casino security. Many casinos have cameras in their buildings, and some even have catwalks over the casino floor that allow security personnel to view players’ actions directly, through one-way glass. Players must keep their cards visible at all times to avoid being cheated.