A casino is an establishment for gambling. Usually, casinos are built near or combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops, and other tourist attractions. In some countries, casinos are regulated by law. They can be operated by either the government or private companies. Some casinos specialize in specific types of games, such as blackjack, poker, and roulette. Others offer a more varied experience, including live entertainment and sports betting.

Gambling has been a part of human culture for millennia. The earliest evidence dates to 2300 BC, with dice appearing in China around 500 AD and playing cards making their way to Europe by the 1400s. Modern casinos grew in popularity during the latter half of the 20th century, with Las Vegas being the nexus of this trend.

Various measures are taken to ensure the security of casino patrons and property. In addition to physical security forces, most casinos have a specialized department that monitors all activity on the casino floor using closed-circuit television. Casinos also employ other technology to prevent cheating and theft, such as chip tracking (where the betting chips have built-in microcircuitry) and automated systems for table games that detect any statistical deviation from expected results.

While many people associate casinos with glitzy gambling destinations like Las Vegas and Atlantic City, more than 40 states now have legalized casinos. Some are small and local, while others are large and sprawling. No matter their size or location, however, all of these casinos share one thing: they offer that thrilling experience many people first experienced vicariously through the movies.