A casino is a place where people can gamble. It usually contains a wide variety of gambling games and is staffed by people to supervise the players and their money. It may also include restaurants, bars, and other entertainment venues. Casinos often use technology to monitor the activities of patrons and prevent cheating or stealing. For example, in the game of craps, electronic sensors track the amount of money wagered minute by minute. The system is designed to detect any discrepancy with the expected outcome of the game.

Modern casinos have a high-tech “eye in the sky” surveillance systems, including cameras that monitor every table, window, and doorway. A casino’s security staff can control the cameras from a room filled with banks of security monitors. This technology has been very effective in preventing crime at casinos.

Gambling has been around as long as humans have, with primitive protodice (cut knuckle bones) and carved six-sided dice found in the oldest archaeological sites. But the modern casino as a place for people to find many different ways to gamble under one roof did not appear until the 16th century, when a gambling craze hit Europe. Italian aristocrats would gather at private clubs called ridotti to play their favorite games in a social setting.

Modern casinos make money by charging customers to play games of chance. Most of these games have a built-in house advantage, which can be lower than two percent, but adds up over time as customers gamble millions of dollars. To offset this cost, casinos offer free drinks, food, and stage shows.