A casino is an establishment for gambling, and may also include a restaurant, hotel or other tourist attraction. The term is most closely associated with the gambling establishments in Las Vegas, but there are casinos located throughout the world. Casinos have a reputation for being glamorous and exciting places to gamble, but they also carry a heavy load of security risks. Because large amounts of money are handled within a casino, both patrons and staff can be tempted to cheat and steal, either in collusion or independently. To protect themselves from this danger, most casinos have elaborate security measures. These can range from physical security forces to specialized surveillance departments.

The casino has its roots in the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe. The aristocracy often held private parties called ridotti, where they could enjoy the thrill of gambling without fear of legal reprisal. These parties eventually evolved into the modern casino.

A typical casino offers a variety of games of chance, along with food and drinks. The most common casino game is the slot machine, where players insert money, pull a handle or press a button, and watch bands of colored shapes roll on reels (either physical or virtual). When the right combination comes up, the player receives a predetermined amount of money. Other popular games include blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps and video poker. In most cases, the casino has a mathematical advantage over the players. This advantage is known as the house edge.