Casino is a place where gambling games are played, and this includes both table games like blackjack, roulette and poker, and slot machines. A casino is also a facility where various entertainment events can take place, such as stage shows and other performances. Typically, a casino will offer a variety of different types of gambling games and a range of luxuries to attract customers.
Gambling probably predates recorded history, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice found at archeological sites. However, the modern casino as a place for people to find all manner of gambling games under one roof did not develop until the 16th century when a gambling craze swept Europe and Italian aristocrats gathered in private clubs called ridotti to gamble and enjoy themselves [Source: Schwartz].
Most casinos have security measures in place to keep their patrons safe. This includes armed guards, CCTV cameras, and other electronic monitoring devices. Some casinos even have catwalks that allow surveillance personnel to look directly down, through one-way glass, on gamblers at table games and slots.
The revenue generated by a casino is usually very substantial, earning billions each year for the companies, investors, and Native American tribes that own and operate them. The profits also flow to state and local governments in the form of taxes, fees, and other payments. Despite this, critics argue that a casino hurts the economic prospects of nearby communities by pulling money away from other forms of entertainment and by driving up the cost of treating compulsive gambling.