What is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people can gamble. It has tables where people can play games of chance, and it usually includes a bar or lounge where people can drink. Some casinos are also known for hosting live entertainment. Some casinos are located in or combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops, cruise ships, and other tourist attractions.

While gambling probably existed before recorded history (primitive protodice, cut knuckle bones, and carved six-sided dice have been found in archaeological sites), the modern casino as an establishment where multiple forms of gambling are available under one roof did not develop until the 16th century. This was during a gambling craze in Europe, and wealthy Italian nobles began to hold private parties at locations called ridotti [Source: Poley].

Gambling in a casino is generally illegal, and the casinos spend a great deal of time and money on security measures. They employ a variety of technologies to prevent criminal activity, including closed circuit television systems that monitor all areas of the facility. They also have a physical security force that patrols the premises and responds to calls for assistance or reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity. They also employ a staff of gaming mathematicians who analyze the statistical deviations in casino games and calculate the house edge.

Historically, many casinos were run by organized crime groups, but the mobs were eventually forced out of business as real estate investors and hotel chains bought up their properties and ran them legally. In the modern world, the largest casinos are often owned by investment banks and operate as quasi-public companies. They are heavily regulated and must comply with strict rules and standards.