What is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment that features a variety of games of chance. It is often a high-class venue that offers entertainment and luxury to its patrons. It is common for casinos to feature musical shows, lighted fountains and elaborate hotels. While these facilities attract many people, the majority of a casino’s profits come from its games of chance. These include slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, keno and baccarat. The casino industry is very lucrative and is one of the most profitable in the world.

Gambling almost certainly predates recorded history, with primitive protodice (cut knuckle bones) and carved six-sided dice found at the earliest archaeological sites. However, the casino as a place where patrons can find many ways to gamble under one roof did not develop until the 16th century during a gambling craze in Europe. The name casino derives from the Italian word ridotto, which refers to a private club for social gatherings. [Source: Schwartz]

Modern casinos offer a wide variety of games, and each game has a built-in advantage for the house that can be very small (lower than two percent) or large, depending on how it is played. Slot machines earn a larger percentage of the money for casinos than any other game, and are popular because players simply put in a coin and pull a lever or push a button. Varying bands of colored shapes roll on reels (actual physical ones or a video representation of them), and the machine pays out a predetermined amount if the right pattern comes up.