What is a Casino?


A casino is a place where gambling activities are carried out. It is not restricted to any particular game, but it can include all the popular games such as slots, roulette, blackjack, craps, baccarat and poker. It also has various entertainment facilities, such as restaurants, bars and clubs. The etymology of the word casino dates back to Italy and over time it has come to mean something that is pleasurable or exciting.

Although casinos have a lot more to offer than just gambling, the vast majority of their profits (and entertainment value) still comes from it. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, baccarat and craps are the main games that provide the billions of dollars in profit raked in by American casinos every year.

Casinos are a lot like indoor amusement parks for adults. They have music shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and hotels to lure in the customers, but they would not exist without the games of chance.

Gambling probably predates history, with primitive protodice and carved knuckle bones being found in archaeological sites [Source: Schwartz]. But the casino as we know it did not develop until the 16th century. Italian aristocrats held private parties at places called ridotti where they could gamble on a variety of games.

Today, casinos are a blend of old and new. Some, such as the MGM Grand on the Las Vegas Strip are renowned for their luxury. Stay in an Equarius Ocean Suite and you can enjoy the underwater view of a huge aquarium brimming with marine life right from your bedroom. Modern casinos have sophisticated surveillance systems that use a high-tech eye-in-the-sky to monitor every table, window and doorway. These can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons by security workers in a separate room filled with banks of security monitors.