What Is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people can gamble and play games of chance. It is a popular form of entertainment and can be found all over the world. Casinos usually offer a variety of gambling activities such as poker, blackjack, roulette and slots. In addition, some casinos also feature more traditional Far Eastern games such as sic bo and fan-tan.

Although casino luxuries like musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and elaborate hotel themes help draw in the crowds, the vast majority of a casino’s profits are derived from gambling. Slot machines, poker, baccarat, blackjack and craps provide the billions in earnings that casino owners use to fund extravagant resorts, hotels, shopping malls and theme parks.

Gambling is probably one of the oldest recreational activities around, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice appearing in ancient archaeological sites. But the concept of a single facility where people could find a wide range of ways to gamble under one roof didn’t emerge until the 16th century, when Europe was swept up in a gambling craze. Italian aristocrats formed private clubs known as ridotti that were basically casinos and offered a wide array of gaming options.

Casino security starts on the floor, where casino employees keep their eyes on patrons to make sure they’re following rules and avoiding blatant cheating tactics. Dealers are highly trained and can often spot crooked players by looking for telltale palming of cards or marking of dice. Other security measures include catwalks over the casino floor, where surveillance personnel can look down on table and slot players through one way glass. Comps are another big money maker for casinos, with big spenders often receiving free room and board, food, show tickets or even airline flights.

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