A casino (from Latin: , literally “house of games”) is a place where people can gamble for cash or other items of value. The games are usually operated by a dedicated staff called dealers or croupiers. In the United States, casinos are mostly located in Las Vegas and other locations that permit gambling. The casinos are generally owned by private individuals or corporations, and operate under a license from the local gaming control board.

In the modern sense of the word, a casino is a facility where people can play various types of gambling games, both table and machine. The most common of these games are slot machines, blackjack, and poker. Some of these games require a high degree of skill, and players who can eliminate the inherent long-term advantage of the house (known as the house edge) are often referred to as advantage players.

Because of the large amounts of money handled within a casino, both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal. To avoid this, most casinos employ a variety of security measures. These include cameras throughout the property, mandatory encryption of real-money transactions, and regular auditing by independent third parties. In addition, casinos regularly monitor their machines to discover any statistical deviations from expected results. This is done with the help of “chip tracking” systems that record the exact amount wagered by each player minute by minute, and sophisticated computer software that reveals any patterns in the behavior of the games.