What Is a Casino?


A Casino is a place where people can find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof. While gambling in some form has almost certainly been around since the beginning of recorded history (the earliest dice are crude protodice made from cut knuckle bones), the casino as a central hub for many forms of gambling did not develop until the 16th century when a gambling craze swept Europe and Italian nobles would hold private parties in places called ridotti [Source: Schwartz].

Most casinos offer multiple types of gambling games. These include table games, like blackjack and roulette, and card games such as poker and Caribbean stud. Some even feature traditional Far Eastern games such as sic bo, fan-tan, and pai gow. Some of the larger casinos also have sports betting rooms and horse racetracks.

Casinos are staffed with people trained to spot cheating, stealing and other unusual behavior. Security personnel watch the casino floor through one-way mirrors and use cameras to keep tabs on patrons’ activities. They have to be able to spot the little things, like the way players move their chips in a particular pattern.

The vast majority of casinos earn a significant proportion of their money from slot machines. These are machines where the player puts in a coin and pushes a button; varying bands of colored shapes roll on reels (actual physical ones or video representations of them) and, if the right pattern appears, the machine pays out a predetermined amount of money. Most slot machines have an advantage of less than 1 percent, but some have lower or higher percentages to attract certain kinds of bettors.