A Casino is a place where people can go to play a variety of gambling games. It also includes a wide range of entertainment such as stage shows and free drinks. Casinos are often built near other tourist attractions and are often combined with hotels and restaurants. They can be found all over the world and in some places have a very high profile.

Gambling almost certainly predates recorded history, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice being found in archaeological sites around the globe [Source: Schwartz]. However, a casino as a place for gamblers to find a wide variety of ways to gamble under one roof did not develop until the 16th century. The idea likely originated in Italy, where aristocrats would hold parties known as ridotti that allowed them to play a number of different card and dice games in private with their friends.

In modern times, casinos use a huge amount of technology to enforce their rules and protect their patrons. Security cameras and computers are used to monitor players, dealers and betting patterns, with automated systems overseeing the exact amounts of money being wagered minute-by-minute, and noticing any statistical deviations that could indicate cheating.

Casinos make their money by taking advantage of the fact that every game has a built in mathematical advantage for them, called the house edge. While this advantage is only a tiny fraction of the total bets made, it adds up over time and allows casinos to finance lavish fountains, pyramids and towers, plus elaborate hotels and other facilities that draw tourists.