A casino is a facility for certain types of gambling. It is also known as a gaming house, a gambling den, or a clubhouse. The word casino is derived from the Latin casa, meaning “house”, and may refer to a building or room where games of chance are played. Casinos are often combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops, and other tourist attractions. In the United States, casinos are most commonly located in Nevada and Atlantic City. Many of them are operated by large casino-resort chains. Others are owned by renowned individuals, such as Donald Trump and the Hilton hotel company.

Because casinos deal in large amounts of currency, they are attractive targets for cheating and stealing. As a result, most casinos have elaborate security measures. These include cameras and other electronic surveillance equipment, as well as highly trained security personnel. Some casinos have catwalks in the ceiling, allowing security personnel to look down on the activities at tables and slot machines through one-way glass.

Gambling probably predates written history, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice found at archaeological sites. However, the modern casino as a place where people can find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof did not appear until the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe and Italian nobles held private parties at places called ridotti [Source: Schwartz].

Today, a casino is almost always a high-end establishment with luxury entertainment options and sophisticated living quarters. It is possible to gamble at a casino in a less extravagant setting, but the experience usually is not as enjoyable or as profitable. Some critics argue that the net economic benefit to a community from a casino is negative, because it diverts money from other forms of local entertainment and increases the cost of treating problem gamblers.