What is a Casino?
A casino is a place where people gamble. Although casinos feature a wide variety of games and other entertainment, the reason they exist is to make money by accepting bets on chance events. Modern casinos use elaborate security systems and a variety of other methods to deter cheating and theft. They are often located in or combined with hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, and other tourist attractions.
Gambling almost certainly existed before recorded history, with primitive protodice (cut knuckle bones) and carved six-sided dice found in ancient archaeological sites [Source: Schwartz]. But the modern casino emerged during the 16th century, as a craze for gambling spread throughout Europe. Aristocrats would gather at private parties called ridotti, where they could indulge their gambling whims in privacy without worrying about legal authorities.
The casinos that grew out of this era were huge and luxurious, with a mind-boggling number of games. They also offered a variety of other entertainment, such as musical shows and lighted fountains. Today’s casinos are more like indoor amusement parks for adults, with elaborate themes, musical shows, shopping centers, and hotels to draw in the crowds. But they wouldn’t be able to sustain themselves without the billions of dollars in profits they rake in each year from the games of chance played by patrons.
Something about the nature of gambling encourages people to try to cheat, steal, or scam their way into a jackpot. While casinos spend a lot of time and money on security, they cannot eliminate these types of behavior entirely. Fortunately, modern casino technology provides a high-tech eye-in-the-sky to monitor all of the tables and slot machines in a building.