A casino is an establishment for gambling. In the United States, casinos are regulated by state laws. Some are combined with hotels, resorts and other tourist attractions. Other casinos are standalone. In some countries, casinos are called gaming halls or gambling houses. In either case, they are a place where people can play a variety of games that involve chance and pay winnings based on the results of the game or games played.
Although gambling probably existed before recorded history, the modern casino as a place for multiple ways to gamble under one roof did not develop until the 16th century when a gambling craze swept Europe. Earlier, Italian aristocrats used private clubs called ridotti for social entertainment, even though gambling was illegal [source: Schwartz].
Gambling in the modern sense of the word began with the introduction of casinos. These were places where people could bet money on various events, including horse races and card games. Casinos are still primarily places for gambling but have expanded to include dining, shopping and other leisure activities.
Casinos are a major source of revenue in many cities. They are a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Many are staffed by employees trained to ensure that the casino is safe and fun for everyone who enters. Due to the large amount of money handled within casinos, cheating and stealing are commonplace and have led to significant investments in security. Casinos spend a lot of time and effort to prevent these problems by encouraging gamblers to be honest and using elaborate surveillance systems.