What is a Casino?


Casino is a gambling establishment that offers a wide variety of games of chance to its patrons. These games may include slot machines, table games, and even video poker. Some of these games require a degree of skill, but most have mathematically determined odds that give the house an advantage over the players. The casino also features other amenities that help to draw in the customers, such as restaurants, free drinks, stage shows, and dramatic scenery.

While casinos have evolved from simple gambling halls to sprawling resorts, they have always had the same basic goal: To attract people by offering a chance at winning big. While gambling itself has probably existed since the beginning of recorded history, the modern casino as we know it did not develop until the 16th century. At that time, a gambling craze swept Europe, and wealthy Italian aristocrats would host parties at venues known as ridotti [Source: Schwartz].

The modern casino uses a variety of technological devices to protect its patrons and ensure the fairness of its games. In one example, betting chips have built-in microcircuitry that allow casinos to monitor their use minute by minute and alert them to any abnormalities. Roulette wheels are electronically monitored regularly to discover any statistical deviations from expected results.

In addition to the technology, casino security is enforced through strict rules of conduct and behavior. Dealers are trained to watch for blatant cheating methods, such as palming or marking cards or dice. Table managers and pit bosses oversee the tables with a broader view, noting patterns in betting that could signal cheating or collusion between patrons. Casinos also use cameras in the ceiling to keep a close eye on every table, window, and doorway.