A casino is a public place where people can gamble on games of chance. While many casinos add luxuries such as stage shows, restaurants and shopping centers to draw in customers, they would not exist without the games of chance that provide billions in profits every year. Casino games include card games such as poker and blackjack, dice games such as craps and roulette wheels and other games involving tiles or dice. The player normally sits around a table, which is normally designed for the game being played, and interacts with the game through a croupier or dealer who enables the games and manages payments.
While gambling probably predates written history, the modern casino as a venue for multiple types of gaming did not emerge until the 16th century. A gambling craze swept Europe at this time, and aristocrats in particular enjoyed social gatherings known as ridotti where they could enjoy a wide variety of casino games in an intimate setting.
In the modern casino, patrons can bet using chips with built in microcircuitry; electronic systems monitor tables minute by minute to discover any statistical deviation from expectations; and roulette wheels are regularly electronically monitored to find any suspicious patterns. Despite this virtual guarantee of profits, casinos still spend large sums to attract high bettors with comps like free rooms, free show tickets and discounted travel packages. While these perks can generate a significant amount of revenue, they also contribute to the growing problem of compulsive gambling.