What is a Casino?



A casino is a place where people play gambling games and win money. There are many different types of casinos. Some are very elaborate, while others are much less so. They may have stage shows, restaurants, and other amenities to attract customers.

Gambling probably predates recorded history, with primitive prototypedice (cut knuckle bones) and carved six-sided dice found in caveman drawings [Source: Schwartz]. But the casino as a central venue for gambling did not develop until the 16th century. At that time a gambling craze swept Europe, and Italian aristocrats would hold private parties in Ribototti, or “little houses” where they could play various gambling games. The modern casino is more like an indoor amusement park for adults, with the vast majority of its revenue coming from gambling games such as blackjack, roulette, and video poker.

Casinos are generally built near or combined with hotels, resorts, retail shopping, and cruise ships. They provide a variety of entertainment and social activities for their patrons, who can celebrate wins and commiserate losses in the presence of other gamblers. Often the establishments offer free or reduced-fare transportation and hotel rooms to big bettors. Despite the virtual assurance of gross profit, the casinos must carefully manage their financial risk and be vigilant to prevent crooked gamblers and employees from cheating or stealing. Due to the large amount of cash handled within a casino, both patrons and employees are susceptible to theft and fraud. This can occur in collusion or independently, and is the reason for the heavy-handed security measures that most casinos employ.