A casino, also known as a gambling establishment, is a place where people can play various games of chance for money. Most casinos offer a variety of gambling options, including roulette, blackjack, poker and slot machines. In some jurisdictions, casinos may be required to meet certain regulatory standards before opening. Many casinos also have restaurants, bars and stage shows. In the United States, the largest concentration of casinos is in Las Vegas, with other major gaming centers located in Atlantic City and Chicago.
Casinos are often designed to encourage patrons to spend more money than they plan on losing, and they may offer comps (gifts or free services) to high rollers in order to attract them. Some of the most common types of casino comps include food and drinks, hotel rooms, show tickets and even airline tickets. Most casinos offer these comps to players based on the amount of time and money they spend playing.
Something about gambling (probably the presence of large amounts of money) seems to encourage people to cheat or steal, either in collusion with others or on their own. Consequently, most casinos have extensive security measures in place to prevent such activity. Cameras and other surveillance equipment are commonly used to monitor patrons and activities within a casino, and security personnel patrol the premises.
The earliest casinos were probably taverns or other public places that offered simple gambling opportunities like billiards and shuffleboard. In the 19th century, as gambling grew in popularity, new types of casinos emerged, such as riverboats and railroad cars equipped with games like keno and roulette. In the 21st century, a number of companies have built enormous casinos in destinations such as Macau and Singapore.