A Casino is a gambling establishment where patrons wager money on games of chance or skill. The games themselves vary, but the general rule is that the house always has an edge over the players, and this advantage is built into the odds of each game. In games that require some degree of skill, such as poker and blackjack, the casino takes a rake, or a percentage of the total pot, from the players.
Modern casinos have a wide range of amenities to attract visitors, but the bottom line is that they are places to gamble. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, and keno account for most of the billions in profits raked in by casinos each year.
Gambling in some form or another has been part of nearly every culture throughout history. Ancient Mesopotamia, Greece, Roman Empire, and Elizabethan England all had their fair share of gambling halls. The modern casino is largely an American invention, with Nevada and Atlantic City the most famous examples. During the late 1960s, however, as disposable income grew globally, the concept spread, with many states legalizing casino gambling.
With large amounts of money being handled within casinos, security is a top priority. Both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or on their own; to counter this threat casinos employ a variety of security measures, with cameras throughout the facility being the most basic. Security is also enforced through rules and conduct; for example, all players at card tables must keep their hands visible at all times.