What is a Casino?


Casino is an entertainment center built around noise, light and excitement. It features a wide variety of gambling games and sometimes offers drinks, food and shows. Most of these games are based on chance or skill. The casino industry makes billions of dollars each year. It is the largest source of income for companies that operate casinos, investors and even Native American tribes. Casinos are found in massive resorts on the Las Vegas strip, in cruise ships, at racetracks as racinos and even at bars, restaurants and grocery stores in some states that allow them.

Gambling almost certainly predates recorded history, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice appearing in ancient archaeological sites [Source: Schwartz]. But the modern casino as an entertainment complex did not develop until the 16th century when a gambling craze swept Europe and Italian aristocrats began holding private parties at places called ridotti. These were basically private clubs for rich people where they could gamble and socialize without fear of persecution by the Inquisition.

Casinos make money by taking advantage of the inherent statistical advantage that they, not their patrons, will win in the long run. This edge may be only a few percent and can vary by game. But over time, it adds up and allows the casino to build a resort that features fountains, giant pyramids and towers and replicas of world famous landmarks. Casinos also use a variety of tricks and tactics to lure gamblers, such as offering comps — free goods and services — to big spenders. These include meals, hotel rooms and tickets to shows.