A casino, also known as a gaming house or gambling establishment, is an establishment where people can gamble. Generally casinos are regulated by government authorities. Typically they are located near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, and cruise ships. Some casinos are renowned for the variety of their game selection, while others are known for their poker, sports betting, or other live entertainment.
In the United States, Las Vegas is the best known casino center. But the world has many more casinos, from small outposts in mountain towns to large resorts combining gaming with luxurious living quarters.
Gambling has been popular throughout history. It was practiced in Ancient Mesopotamia, Rome, Greece and Elizabethan England. In modern times it has become a popular form of recreation, bringing in billions of dollars for casinos and their owners.
Casinos rely on games of chance for the majority of their profits. Slot machines, table games like blackjack and roulette and even keno generate the billions of dollars in revenues that casinos bring in every year. While dazzling fountain shows, upscale restaurants and hotel rooms add to the casino experience, the bulk of revenue is generated by the games.
Because of the large amounts of money handled within a casino, patrons may be tempted to cheat or steal. To counter this, most casinos employ security measures. In addition, patrons are usually required to show identification and sign a credit card or cash slip to verify that they are over the legal age for gambling.