A casino is a gambling establishment where people can play various games of chance for money. The name derives from the Latin word cazino, meaning “little store.” The first modern casinos were built in the 19th century and grew to be an important source of income for many European countries.

A well-known example is the casino at Monte-Carlo in Monaco, which opened in 1863. Modern casinos typically have several gambling tables and slot machines. They also feature live entertainment and dining services. Many casinos have catwalks above the gaming floor that allow security personnel to look down on players through one-way glass.

Modern casinos make much of their profits from high-stakes gamblers, who are called “high rollers.” These gamblers often receive comps worth thousands of dollars, such as free hotel rooms or luxury suites, and personalized attention from the casino staff. The casinos also invest heavily in electronic surveillance systems and other technological measures to prevent cheating and fraud.

Gambling has been a part of human culture for millennia, starting with dice in 2300 BC and followed by card games in the 1400s. However, the vast majority of casino customers are not high rollers. The typical casino customer is a forty-six-year-old woman from a household with above-average income. This demographic is largely responsible for the high prevalence of gambling addiction among Americans. In addition, casinos contribute to social problems, such as gang violence and poor economic conditions in surrounding neighborhoods.