What Is a Casino?


A casino, in its most basic form, is a place where gambling games are played. It may boast restaurants, stage shows, dazzling scenery or other attractions, but casinos would not exist without the gambling that makes them profitable. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and other games of chance account for the billions that casinos rake in each year.

Gambling, in its many forms, has been a part of human culture for millennia. Among the earliest known evidence is a game of chance with wooden blocks in China from 2300 BC, followed by dice in the 1400s and playing cards in the 1600s. During the 1990s, casinos greatly increased their use of technology to supervise gambling activities. Chips with built-in microcircuitry enable a computer to oversee how much is wagered minute-by-minute, and roulette wheels are electronically monitored regularly to discover any statistical deviation from expected results.

Because large amounts of money are handled within a casino, patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal. This is why most casinos spend a great deal of time and money on security. In addition to cameras, most casinos employ guards and have a “no-tipping” policy in order to discourage employees from receiving tips. Casinos that cater to high rollers often have special rooms where the stakes are often in the tens of thousands of dollars, and they provide these high-stakes gamblers with free spectacular entertainment, luxury suites, reduced-fare transportation and other lavish inducements.

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