A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Most casinos offer a variety of gambling games, but some also host non-gambling entertainment events. Some casinos are stand-alone, while others are integrated into resorts or hotels. In the United States, casinos are generally licensed by state governments. Most states regulate the types of games offered, the minimum age for players, and the amount of money that can be won. Some states even require that all winnings be reported to the state. Casinos are businesses that, like any other, must make a profit in order to survive. As such, they have a built-in advantage over patrons that is referred to as the house edge.
Gambling has been around for thousands of years, with primitive proto-dice and carved knuckle bones found at ancient archaeological sites. But the casino as a place where people could 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 aristocrats created private clubs known as ridotti.
Most modern casinos use technology to control their operations and maximize profits. For example, elaborate surveillance systems allow security personnel to watch every table, window, and doorway in the building through cameras that can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons. Slot machines have microcircuitry that can track the amount of money deposited and paid out, and roulette wheels are electronically monitored regularly to discover any statistical deviations from their expected outcomes.