What is a Casino?

August 31, 2023 by No Comments


While the word casino has come to encompass a wide variety of extravagant entertainment, like musical shows, stage shows, restaurants and hotels, it is best known as a place where gambling games are played. Slot machines, blackjack, poker, roulette and other games of chance generate the billions in profits casinos rake in every year.

Although gambling probably predates recorded history, the first casino-type establishment didn’t appear until the 16th century when a gambling craze swept Europe. Italian aristocrats would gather at private parties in clubs called ridotti, where they could indulge in all forms of gambling under one roof [Source: Schwartz].

The modern casino is more than just an entertainment center. It is a fully functioning business that has the same financial goals as any other company. As such, it has built-in advantages that ensure the house will always win in the long run. These advantage are called the house edge, and they can be found in all casino games.

Because large sums of money are handled within a casino, both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. To combat this, casinos employ a variety of security measures. For example, some casinos have catwalks in the ceiling that allow surveillance personnel to look down on players through one-way glass; while other casinos use electronic systems to monitor the exact amount of money wagered minute by minute, and detect any statistical deviations.