A casino, also known as a gambling house or a gaming establishment, is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Modern casinos are often large, lavish places that feature multiple ways to gamble and a host of other entertainment activities. The largest casinos in the United States are found in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Many states have legalized casino gambling, and the number continues to rise.
While gambling in some form or another predates recorded history, the modern casino as a complex of games and entertainment is relatively recent. The precise origin of the casino is unknown, but it is clear that it arose from a mixture of public and private entertainment and socializing. The modern casino is like an indoor amusement park, with a wide variety of games and a theme designed to attract the attention of the patrons.
Because of the large amounts of money handled within a casino, security is a key issue. Both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently; most casinos have measures to prevent this, including cameras. In addition to the security measures, most casinos have rules and conduct guidelines that must be followed by both players and staff. This is to ensure that the game results are fair and unbiased, and not tainted by corruption or collusion. In the case of poker, where players compete against one another, a commission, or rake, is taken by the casino, which can vary by game and type of player.