What Is a Casino?

Casinos are gambling houses that offer a variety of gaming options, usually located near or combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants and other entertainment facilities. Some casinos also offer non-gambling services such as cruise ships and retail shopping.

History of Casinos

Gambling almost certainly predates recorded history, with primitive protodice known as astragali (cut knuckle bones) and even carved six-sided dice found in the most ancient archaeological sites [Source: Schwartz]. It did not develop into modern casinos until the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe.

The world’s first government-sanctioned casino opened in Venice, Italy, in 1638. The Ridotto was a four-story building with several rooms for primitive card games and a variety of food and beverages to keep gamblers happy.

Today, casinos offer a wide variety of table and slot games. The most popular are blackjack and roulette, but many other variations can be found, including baccarat, poker and craps.

Casinos also use chips instead of real money to make betting more fun and reduce player anxiety about losing large amounts of cash. This can make casinos more profitable for the casino, although the house edge remains relatively high.

Security in Casinos

The presence of large amounts of currency may tempt people to cheat and steal, and casinos do their best to prevent this. They have physical security forces who patrol the casino floor and respond to calls for help, and specialized surveillance departments that monitor the casinos’ closed circuit television systems.