A casino is a gambling establishment that houses and accommodates a variety of games of chance for patrons to wager money. The games usually have an element of skill, and winning bets are paid out according to the odds set for each game. The house advantage is often less than two percent, and the casino earns money by charging a commission on bets, or taking a “rake” from poker games and electronic slot machines. The casino also offers complimentary items or “comps” to patrons.

Gambling has existed in many societies throughout history. In the modern world, most countries regulate casinos to some extent, but legal disputes still arise from time to time. Some casinos are lavish, with stage shows and dramatic scenery, while others have more traditional layouts with table games, slots and video poker. In the United States, some states have legalized certain types of casinos, but most prohibit them entirely or limit their operations to a single geographic area, such as a city.

The modern casino industry has developed a wide range of security measures in response to the potential for cheating by players and staff. Some of these are mechanical, such as cameras that keep an eye on the gaming floor to spot blatant attempts to cheat by palming or marking cards. Others involve technological innovations, such as chips with built-in microcircuitry that allow a casino to track bets minute by minute, and roulette wheels that are electronically monitored to detect statistical deviations from expected results.