A casino is a gambling establishment that offers players the opportunity to gamble and play games of chance. Most casinos also offer other entertainment and luxury amenities to attract and keep visitors. For example, some casinos offer free hotel rooms or meals to high rollers (players who wager large sums of money).
Gambling in some form has existed in nearly every society throughout history. The exact origin of gambling is not known, but it is generally believed to have originated in ancient Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome, and was later popularized in Europe during the 1700s. In the United States, the first legal casino was built in Nevada in 1931. Its popularity soon spread, and in the 1980s a number of American states amended their antigambling laws to permit casino gambling. Casinos soon began to appear on Native American reservations as well.
Besides gambling and game-of-chance play, casino facilities can include restaurants, bars, theaters, shopping centers, swimming pools, and beauty salons. In addition, many casinos have security measures to deter cheating and theft by both patrons and staff. These may include security cameras, metal detectors, and staff who monitor the movements of players.
Because casino gambling is a highly lucrative business, casinos compete vigorously to lure gamblers. They offer various rewards to players, called comps, which can include room and meal vouchers, show tickets, limo service, and airline tickets. The amount of comps received depends on the amount of money gamblers spend at the casino and the type of game played.