A casino is a facility for certain types of gambling. Modern casinos often combine gambling with entertainment and retail shopping, and are located near or combined with hotels and resorts. Some also offer convention facilities and live theater. In some countries, the term casino is used to refer to a specific gaming establishment, while in others, it may refer to an entire entertainment complex.
Gambling has been around for as long as humankind, with primitive games like the knucklebones and carved six-sided dice found at archaeological sites. However, the modern casino as we know it did not emerge until the 16th century, during a gambling craze that swept Europe at the time. While the idea of a place where people can gamble together under one roof was not new, it became practical for the first time when wealthy Italian aristocrats created private clubs called ridotti, where they could bet on baccarat and roulette and take in a show.
While the casino industry has grown tremendously since then, it was not until Nevada legalized gambling in 1931 that the phenomenon really took off. Once this happened, the owners of existing casinos realized that they could capitalize on this growing market and started opening more and more locations. Today, the largest concentration of casinos is in Las Vegas, followed by Atlantic City and Chicago. In terms of revenue, it is estimated that this trio accounts for over half of all casino earnings.