When you hear the word casino, you probably think of a Las Vegas megaresort—a massive hotel and entertainment complex whose lighting and sound systems are designed to stimulate gamblers’ senses. But the dictionary definition of “casino” is much broader: it refers to any building or room where social amusements, specifically gambling, take place. This definition includes electronic gaming machines and horse race tracks, as well as card and table games.

Gambling in some form has been a part of human culture for millennia. Archaeologists have found wooden blocks used in games of chance in 2300 BC China, while dice first showed up in 500 BC Rome and the 1400s saw the birth of what would become the game of blackjack. The precise origin of casinos is unknown, but they have been a source of excitement and fun for millions of people throughout the world.

Many casinos are able to offer free drinks and meals because they count on gamblers spending more money than they’re winning. In order to minimize this effect, a casino should provide fast and reliable withdrawals to ensure that players don’t end up spending more than they can afford to lose.

If you’re planning your first visit to a casino, be sure to dress comfortably. You won’t need to wear a tuxedo or a designer gown, but you should dress in something that strikes a balance between casual and sophisticated. And remember that you’ll be on your feet for hours moving from table to table and machine to machine, so comfortable shoes are a must.