Casino is a large building with gambling tables and machines and other entertainment. Casinos have been around since the 16th century, and they are especially popular in Europe. They are also found on American Indian reservations. The precise origin of gambling is unknown, but it is thought that it has been part of human culture for thousands of years.

In modern casinos the emphasis is on security. Many different types of surveillance cameras are used, and patrons are required to keep their hands visible at all times when not holding a card or a dice. Some casinos have catwalks above the gaming floor that allow security personnel to view activities directly, though this is usually done through one-way glass.

Something about the presence of large amounts of money seems to encourage people to cheat and steal, whether in collusion or independently. To prevent this, casinos spend a great deal of time, effort and money on security. Casinos use chips instead of actual money, which makes it easier to track the amount of money that is moved. They offer free food and drinks to keep gamblers in the building longer, although this may not reduce the house edge.

Some studies indicate that the net economic impact of a casino is negative, because it draws money from other sources in a community. Other critics point to the costs of treating compulsive gamblers, and to the fact that casinos tend to increase gambling among those who already have a problem.