What is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Casinos are often combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops, cruise ships and other tourist attractions. Casinos are also known for hosting live entertainment events such as stand-up comedy, concerts and sports games. Some casinos are known for their large jackpots and other prizes.

The modern casino is more like an indoor amusement park than a gambling house, with many of the amenities (e.g., musical shows, lighted fountains, lavish hotels and elaborate themes) being used to lure guests and make them spend money in addition to the gambling revenue they generate. But no matter how many bells and whistles are attached to the gambling floor, a casino would not exist without the games of chance that give it its raison d’être. Slot machines, poker, craps, baccarat and other popular games provide the billions in profits that casino owners rake in every year.

Gambling probably predates recorded history, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice being found in ancient archaeological sites. But the casino as a place to find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof did not develop until the 16th century, when gambling mania swept Europe and Italian aristocrats established private clubs known as ridotti.

Today, the casino business is dominated by large companies, including hotel and casino chains, which have the resources to invest in high-tech facilities that can monitor and supervise the games. Computers can track betting patterns minute by minute and warn supervisors if the game deviates from expected results; roulette wheels are electronically monitored for anomalies; and the chips in blackjack, poker, and other table games have built-in microcircuitry that makes it possible to verify their authenticity.