What Is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people can play a variety of games of chance for money. It may have a host of other luxuries to attract customers, such as food and drink, stage shows, dramatic scenery, or even top-notch hotels, but it is still essentially a gambling establishment. It is sometimes called a “gambling room” or “gambling hall.”

Gambling predates history, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice found in the most ancient archaeological sites, but the modern casino as we know it didn’t appear until the 16th century. At that time, a gambling craze was sweeping Europe, and wealthy Italian aristocrats would hold private parties in locations called ridotti to gamble and enjoy themselves away from the prying eyes of the Spanish Inquisition.

Casinos began to pop up around the world in the 19th and 20th centuries as states legalized gambling, starting with Nevada. In the 21st century, casinos are a major component of many resort destinations and offer a wide range of entertainment options in addition to gambling.

Security in a casino starts on the floor, with employees keeping an eye on patrons to spot any cheating. Dealers are trained to watch for blatant methods of manipulation, such as palming cards or marking or switching dice. Table managers and pit bosses monitor the tables and players with a more broader view, noting betting patterns and noticing table trends. Modern technology is also utilized to help ensure fairness of game results. In one example, a camera system watches every slot machine in the house and alerts security if there is a suspicious pattern.