What is a Casino?
A Casino is a place that offers gambling and a variety of games that depend on chance. The gambling business is the backbone of casinos, generating billions in profits every year for their owners. Although many ancillary services such as shopping centers, restaurants and hotels are offered, the majority of casino profits come from games like blackjack, roulette, craps, slot machines and baccarat.
While gambling in one form or another may predate recorded history, the casino as a centralized facility where gamblers could find all sorts of games under a single roof didn’t really take off until the 16th century. That’s when European aristocrats began holding private parties known as ridotti, where they would wager on a variety of games, including cut knuckle bones and carved six-sided dice.
During the mob’s heyday in Reno and Las Vegas, mobster money helped casinos develop a seamy reputation, which the mobsters were not shy about exploiting. However, real estate investors and hotel chains with deep pockets soon realized the potential of this business. With federal crackdowns and the risk of losing a gaming license at just the hint of Mafia involvement, legitimate casino businesses kept the mob out of their casinos.
Today, casino buildings are a sight to behold. The Grand Lisboa in Macau, east Asia’s version of Las Vegas, stands out with its dazzling exterior, crowned with the world’s largest LED dome made up of over a million bulbs. Inside the massive space, there are more than 800 gaming tables and 1000 slot machines. While the main attraction is the gambling, regular shows are put on to keep visitors entertained.