A casino, also known as a gaming house or a gambling establishment, is an establishment where people can gamble. These places are primarily built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops and other entertainment venues. Many states have laws that regulate the types of games that can be played in a casino. Some states prohibit the use of credit cards in casinos, while others allow players to use eWallets. Some even have specific rules for different games, such as requiring players to be at least 21 years of age to play certain types of poker.
While the precise origins of gambling are unknown, it is widely believed that some form of it has been present in almost every society throughout history. Prehistoric proto-dice, carved knuckle bones and even Victorian-era ridottos (private parties for aristocratic families) are evidence of this, but the modern concept of a casino as a place where people can find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof only developed during the 16th century, with gambling booming throughout Europe.
Because of the large amounts of money handled within casinos, both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion with each other or independently; thus most casinos spend a considerable amount of time and resources on security. This includes a wide range of cameras, as well as trained staff to spot suspicious behavior and deter it. In addition, because gambling is often done in groups, there are also special measures to prevent gangs from forming at a particular casino.