What Is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people can gamble and play games of chance. Casinos often feature various card, dice and other table games along with slot machines. Many casinos also have musical shows and shopping centers. Some casinos are built on a grand scale, with fountains, towers and replicas of famous buildings. Casinos earn billions of dollars each year from bets made by their patrons. This money is used to build hotels, casinos and other entertainment facilities.

Gambling probably predates recorded history, with primitive protodice and carved knuckle bones found in archaeological sites. However, the modern casino as a venue for gambling did not develop until the 16th century, when a gaming craze swept Europe and Italian nobles would hold private parties at houses called ridotti [Source: Schwartz].

The casino is a business, and like any business it must make a profit to stay in business. To do this, they must attract customers and keep them coming back. To do this they offer a variety of bonuses and promotions. One way is to give out free goods or services to “good” players, known as comps. These can include free meals, hotel rooms, tickets to shows and even limo service and airline tickets for high-stakes players.

Because so much money changes hands in a casino, it is important to have security measures in place to prevent cheating and stealing. Most casinos have a dedicated security department as well as a specialized surveillance system known as the eye-in-the-sky. These departments work together to prevent crime.