What is a Casino?


A Casino is a place where people can play games of chance for money. While musical shows, lighted fountains and shopping centers attract patrons, casinos would not exist without games of chance, which are what give them the billions in profits they rake in each year. Slot machines, roulette, blackjack, craps and poker provide the action that generates revenue for the owners of casinos. The games have a built in advantage for the house, usually no more than two percent, but that small profit over millions of bets is enough to finance hotels, shopping complexes and other amenities.

While gambling has existed as long as humans have had a penchant for risk, the modern casino developed in the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe. Aristocrats gathered in private clubs known as ridotti to gamble, drink and socialize – even though gambling was technically illegal.

In the 1950s, mafia figures brought their funds to Reno and Las Vegas, bringing a new level of sophistication to casino operations. The mobster money helped casino owners to build grander and more luxurious buildings, while also attracting more American tourists to the area.

Modern casinos use technology to supervise the games and to keep tabs on the players. Video cameras are used to monitor each table, allowing security personnel to see any suspicious activity immediately. In addition, the payouts of slots and video poker machines are controlled by computers in a separate room that is filled with banks of monitors. The cameras, which are sometimes referred to as the eye in the sky, can be adjusted to focus on specific patrons.