Casinos are places where people can gamble on games of chance and skill. Casino gambling includes a variety of table and slot machines as well as some forms of poker, baccarat, roulette, blackjack and video poker. Successful casinos make billions of dollars each year for the companies, investors, and Native American tribes that operate them. They also generate substantial tax revenues for local and state governments.

Casino gambling has a long and colorful history. Although gambling probably existed as early as the 16th century, when a craze for dice and other forms of betting swept Europe, the casino as a place where people could find a variety of games under one roof did not develop until the 19th century.

Throughout much of its history, gambling was illegal in most states. But that did not stop people from traveling to Las Vegas, Atlantic City and other casino centers. Eventually, casinos began appearing on Indian reservations and other areas that were outside the reach of state anti-gambling laws.

Many casinos are adorned with rich and elegant furnishings. The casino at the famous spa town of Baden-Baden, Germany, for example, was designed by Baroque architect Paul Kleemann in 1928. Today, it attracts high-rollers from around the world.

A casino is a business and, like all businesses, it seeks to maximize its gross profit. That is why most of them offer big bettors extravagant inducements. For example, they may offer free shows and luxurious living quarters. And they routinely monitor game results to discover statistical deviations from expected values that might indicate cheating or rigging. Casinos use sophisticated electronic systems to do this. For example, betting chips have built-in microcircuitry to communicate with casino surveillance computers; and electronic systems keep track of the amount of money wagered minute by minute on a particular game.