A Casino is a place where gambling games are played and people can win prizes. It includes a variety of gaming activities that are controlled by chance or skill, such as poker, blackjack, roulette and baccarat. Casinos also provide restaurants, free drinks and stage shows to attract gamblers.

In the United States, casinos are licensed by state regulatory authorities and may be operated by private businesses or by non-profit organizations. Various state gambling control boards/commissions create rules and regulations that govern casino operations. Some states permit casinos on American Indian reservations, which are not subject to state anti-gambling laws.

Something about the large amounts of money involved in casinos encourages cheating and theft, either in collusion with other patrons or by individuals. Therefore, casinos devote a great deal of time and effort to security measures. They use cameras located throughout the building to monitor transactions and they enforce rules of behavior that discourage dishonesty.

Casinos employ a wide range of psychological tricks to lure gamblers. Slot machines are arranged in a maze-like fashion and are lit with bright colors that stimulate the senses. More than 15,000 miles (24,100 km) of neon tubing lights the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip. Red is a popular color because it has been shown to be the most appealing to humans.

Gambling games probably predate recorded history, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice found in archaeological sites. However, the concept of a casino as a place where a variety of gambling opportunities could be found under one roof did not develop until the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe.