Whether they’re in Las Vegas, Macao or elsewhere, casinos are a huge draw for visitors. While dazzling stage shows, shopping centers and restaurants are often added attractions, casinos would not exist without games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, poker, craps and roulette are what bring in the billions of dollars a year that casinos rake in.
While gambling almost certainly predates recorded history — primitive protodice (cut knuckle bones) and carved six-sided dice can be found in ancient archaeological sites — the casino as an institution dedicated to the various forms of chance did not develop until the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe. Italian aristocrats hosted parties at facilities called ridotti, which were technically illegal but often left undetected by legal authorities. The idea spread to America, where many casinos are located in Atlantic City and New Jersey. Others operate on American Indian reservations, which are not subject to state antigambling laws.
Casinos are built to entertain, but they also have the potential for cheating and stealing. Given the large amounts of money handled within, security cameras are an essential part of any casino. In addition, casino employees must be on the lookout for patrons who might try to game the system, either in collusion with staff or on their own. The rules and patterns of casino games also make it easy for security personnel to spot any deviations from expectations. Lastly, the sheer number of people in a casino creates an atmosphere where people are more likely to be distracted or stumble into others.