A casino, also called a gaming hall or card room, is a place where people play games of chance. It is a common form of gambling and is found in most countries. Casinos vary in size, but all have some things in common. They have a variety of games, beautiful decor and impressive architecture. Some casinos have hotels, restaurants, non-gambling game rooms and other amenities.
While the precise origin of gambling is unknown, it is believed that some form of it has existed in almost every society throughout history. The earliest recorded evidence of gambling are primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice from ancient archaeological sites. The modern casino, with a wide range of games under one roof, began to develop in the 16th century as part of a gambling craze that swept Europe at the time. Italian aristocrats created private parties at their homes, known as ridotti, where they could gamble and socialize without fear of legal consequences.
Because of the large amounts of money that are handled in a casino, both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. To combat this, most casinos employ security measures such as cameras. Some even have a special room that monitors all activity in the casino. Comps (free goods or services) are also given to players who are considered good customers, such as free hotel rooms and meals, tickets to shows or limo service and airline tickets.