A casino is a facility for certain types of gambling. The games offered by casinos include poker, baccarat, craps, roulette, blackjack, and slot machines. In addition, some casinos host tournaments and other live entertainment events. In addition, some casinos are combined with hotels and resorts.

Originally, casinos were public halls for music and dancing, but the emergence of new technology like the television transformed them into the modern gambling establishments we know today. Some of the world’s most famous casinos are in Las Vegas, Macau, Monaco and Singapore. Each offers a high-end experience that appeals to gamblers and non-gamblers alike.

Most casino games provide a predictable long-term advantage to the house (known as the house edge or vigorish), while giving players the possibility of a short-term gain that in some cases can be large. Skillful players can reduce the house edge by understanding the game’s rules and strategy, and they are known as advantage players.

Because of the large sums of money handled within a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. To protect against this, most casinos employ a combination of physical security forces and specialized surveillance departments. The latter operate closed-circuit television systems and other monitoring devices. In addition, many casinos hire mathematical analysts who use computers to analyze the odds of games and make recommendations for optimal play. These mathematicians are known as gaming analysts and are hired by both casino owners and independent analysis companies.