A casino is a place where people can gamble. In the United States casinos are licensed and regulated by state and local governments. Casinos may also offer a variety of other games such as poker, roulette, baccarat, blackjack, and video slots. Some casinos feature live entertainment and top-notch hotels.
Gambling almost certainly predates recorded history, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice found at many archaeological sites. But the idea of a central location where people could find all types of gambling activities under one roof did not emerge until the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe.
As the popularity of casino gambling grew, cities began to build larger facilities and offer more games. Casinos often compete with each other to attract visitors and are known for offering a wide range of incentives to keep their gamblers happy and spending money. This includes free drinks and food, discounted or free hotel rooms, and limo or bus service for high rollers. Casinos are also known for giving out comps, or complimentary items, to gamblers who spend a lot of time and money there.
Casinos use various security measures, including surveillance cameras and specially trained staff. Some casinos also have systems for monitoring specific games. For example, some tables use chips with built-in microcircuitry to monitor the amount of money wagered minute by minute, and roulette wheels are electronically monitored regularly to discover any statistical deviation from expected results.