What is a Casino?


A Casino is a place where people can gamble on games of chance. Slot machines, black jack, roulette, craps and keno are the games that bring in billions of dollars in profit each year to casinos. Casinos are usually located in areas where tourists visit or in resorts. Many of them offer free shows and hotel rooms to “good” players. You can find out how to qualify for comps by asking a casino host or player’s club employee.

Gambling almost certainly predates recorded history, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice found in the most ancient archaeological sites. But the concept of a single venue where patrons could find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof did not emerge until the 16th century when a gambling craze swept Europe. Italian aristocrats began hosting parties at their houses known as ridotti, where they played cards and other games that were technically illegal.

The modern casino is a high-tech operation with security cameras, electronic locks and floor-to-ceiling glass to monitor activity from above. Some casinos even have catwalks that allow surveillance personnel to look directly down, through one-way mirrors, on the goings on at individual tables and slot machines.

Some casinos are run by legitimate businessmen, but others are bankrolled by mobster money that lends them a seamy image. The mobsters often become involved personally, taking sole or partial ownership of some casinos and exerting control over outcomes through threats of violence against casino personnel.