A casino is a facility for certain types of gambling. Modern casinos often combine gambling with other entertainment such as restaurants, hotels and shopping malls and are located in or near cities with large populations. They may also offer live entertainment such as musical shows, comedy or sports. Some casinos are known for their glamorous or historic settings, while others are famous for their luxurious accommodations or exotic games.
While gambling in some form surely predates recorded history, the casino as a place for people to find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof did not develop until the 16th century. At this time a gambling craze was sweeping Europe, and rich Italian aristocrats held private parties at places called ridotti. These were basically private clubs for the rich, and although they were technically illegal they seldom came under investigation from law enforcement.
In the United States casinos began appearing in the late 1980s, first in Atlantic City and then on American Indian reservations where they were not subject to state antigambling laws. In the 1990s many other states legalized casinos, and a casino industry developed that now includes over 3,000 establishments worldwide.
While the Bellagio Fountain show and luxury hotels make Las Vegas arguably the world’s most famous casino, other famous casinos include the Casino de Monte Carlo in Monaco, the Casino Lisboa in Lisbon, and the Casino Baden-Baden in Germany. Because of the large amounts of money handled within them, casinos are sometimes a target for both patrons and staff who may try to cheat or steal. Most casinos have security measures to deter this, including manned security cameras and random spot checks.