A casino, also known as a gaming hall or a gambling establishment, is a place where people can gamble by playing games of chance or skill. Some casinos specialize in certain types of games, such as poker, baccarat, blackjack or roulette. Others offer a more varied selection, and may include games from the Far East such as sic bo, fan-tan or pai gow. The precise origin of gambling is not fully understood, but it has been a part of human culture for at least 4,000 years.

The modern casino industry is a global business that generates billions in revenue each year. It is highly competitive, and casinos invest heavily in floor renovations, product innovations and marketing to attract and retain players. A successful casino must be able to balance the demands of its customers, regulators and shareholders.

The term casino is derived from the Italian word casona, meaning “small castle”. A casino is a gambling establishment where patrons can gamble by playing games of chance or skill. In games with an element of skill, such as blackjack or Spanish 21, the house has a mathematical advantage, which is known as the house edge. The house edge differs from game to game, but is always negative (from the player’s perspective). Some casinos also earn money via a commission on bets placed by players, which is called the rake. Casinos employ a variety of security measures to protect their patrons and property. Table managers and pit bosses have a close watch on their tables, looking for blatant cheating or other suspicious behavior. More sophisticated casinos use a camera system that allows security workers to see every aspect of the casino through an eye in the sky, and can adjust the cameras to focus on specific suspicious patrons.