What Is a Casino?


A casino is a special place where people can enjoy various gambling entertainment and have the possibility to win money. This establishment is known for its large variety of games of chance, including slots, roulette, blackjack, baccarat and craps. Some casinos also host other forms of entertainment, such as stage shows and dramatic scenery.

While gambling probably predates written history, the modern casino as an institution offering a wide range of gaming opportunities under one roof emerged in the 16th century during a gambling craze that spread across Europe. The name derives from the Italian word for “little house,” and the first casinos were small clubhouses called ridotti where wealthy nobles could meet to gamble and socialize, despite the fact that gambling was technically illegal [Source: Schwartz].

Because of the large amounts of currency handled within a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat and steal, either in collusion or independently. This is why casinos employ a combination of physical and technological security measures to keep their customers safe and the gambling process fair.

The physical security force patrols the facility and responds to calls for assistance or reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity, while a specialized surveillance department operates the casino’s closed circuit television system (often referred to as an eye-in-the-sky) that allows security personnel to watch all of the action from a single room.

The average casino patron is a forty-six-year-old female from a family with an above-average income. Compulsive gamblers represent a significant portion of the casino clientele and generate a large percentage of profits, but many economic studies have found that the social costs of gambling addiction often outweigh any initial revenue gains for the local community.

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