Casino, also known as a gaming establishment or a gambling hall, is a facility where people can gamble by playing games of chance or skill for cash or other items of value. Most casinos offer a wide variety of casino games, including poker, blackjack, roulette, craps, and baccarat. Some even have a sports book. These facilities are usually licensed by the local authority to operate, and many have security forces to protect customers and property.

Some casinos are large and sprawling, while others are much smaller and more intimate. The world’s biggest casinos include the Bellagio, in Las Vegas, which is famous for its spectacular fountain shows and luxurious accommodations. Other famous casinos include the Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monaco, the Casino Lisboa in Lisbon, and the Casino Baden-Baden in Germany.

Most casino games have a certain mathematical expectancy, meaning that the house always has an advantage over the patrons. The casinos profit from these odds, or house edge, by charging a fee for each bet placed. This fee is sometimes called a vig or rake. In some games, such as poker, the casino makes money by taking a percentage of each pot or charging an hourly rate.

Gambling has been part of human culture for millennia, with evidence dating back to 2300 BC China, when wooden blocks were found. Dice came into use around 500 AD, and card games like baccarat appeared in the 1400s. Modern casinos employ professional mathematicians and computer programmers to calculate the house edge and variance of their games. These professionals are known as gaming mathematicians or analysts.