The Casino – The World’s Finest Place to Gamble
In casinos, gambling is elevated to a wildly glamorous art form. These 10 temples of temptation, decked out with opulent furnishings and overflowing bars, draw people from all over the world to throw down chips and watch the roulette ball spin between black and red.
Gambling has been around for centuries, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice found in the oldest archaeological sites. But the casino as a place where patrons could find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof didn’t develop until the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe and Italian aristocrats began hosting private parties called ridotti. [Source: Schwartz]
Modern casinos employ high-tech surveillance systems to make sure their patrons aren’t cheating. For example, in some casinos, security personnel monitor tables and slot machines through catwalks above the floor, looking down on players through one-way glass. Casinos also use “chip tracking” to monitor the amount of money wagered on each game minute-by-minute, and roulette wheels are electronically monitored regularly for any statistical deviation from their expected results.
Many casinos reward frequent visitors with free goods and services, such as hotel rooms, restaurant meals, show tickets and even limo service and airline tickets if they’re big spenders. These comps help keep the house edge, or the statistical advantage the casino has over the player, at a minimum and can sometimes tip the balance in the favor of the gambler. But the most important thing a casino needs to do is draw in people who are willing to risk their money.