A casino is a facility for certain types of gambling. It is often built near or combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops, and other tourist attractions. In some countries, casinos are operated by government-licensed or regulated private companies. Others operate independently or are franchised. Some casinos specialize in specific games, such as blackjack or roulette; others offer a more comprehensive range of gaming options.
The first casinos grew up in the United States during the late 19th century, as state governments began to allow legalized gambling operations. Nevada was the first to recognize this opportunity, and it soon became a major gambling destination. Later, other states such as Iowa, New Jersey and Atlantic City joined in, and Native American casinos proliferated.
In the US, the majority of casino revenue comes from table games, especially those conducted by live dealers such as blackjack, roulette and craps. In many cases these games have a built in advantage for the casino, which is calculated mathematically and known as the house edge. The house edge can be very small, less than two percent in some cases, but the large numbers of bets placed by patrons each year ensure that the casino will make a profit. Casinos compensate for this by charging a fee to bettors, known as the vig or rake.
Because of the large amount of cash handled within a casino, it is important for casinos to have adequate security measures. These may include cameras and other electronic devices to prevent cheating or stealing by staff members or patrons, either in collusion with each other or independently.