A casino is a place where people can gamble on a variety of games. Gambling is not a very popular pastime in most places, but there are still several casinos around the world where people can try their luck. Some casinos also have hotels and restaurants and other non-gambling entertainment options for visitors.
In the United States, the largest casinos are in Las Vegas, Nevada and Atlantic City, New Jersey. Other major gambling centers include Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; and Biloxi, Mississippi. There are also many smaller casinos throughout the country, especially in the Midwest and the South. Many of these smaller casinos are operated by Native American tribes.
Casinos can be a dangerous place for both patrons and staff, because of the large amount of money that changes hands in them. The presence of so much money can encourage people to cheat and steal, whether in collusion with other patrons or on their own. For this reason, casinos spend a lot of time and money on security. Some casinos have catwalks in the ceiling above the casino floor, which allow surveillance personnel to look directly down, through one way glass, on the activities at the tables and slot machines.
Although gambling probably existed in some form as early as primitive protodice and carved knuckle bones, 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. At that time, European aristocrats often held social events at places called ridotti, where they would gamble and socialize.