What is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment that offers a variety of gambling games and events. The modern casino is a complex structure that combines entertainment, food and drink and gambling in one facility. It features a full range of gambling games from baccarat to blackjack and from roulette to slot machines. Many casinos also offer a number of traditional Far Eastern games such as sic bo, fan-tan and pai gow.

Gambling has existed for thousands of years, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice found in some of the world’s oldest archaeological sites. However, the casino as a place where patrons can find a wide range of gaming opportunities under one roof did not develop until the 16th century when a gambling craze swept Europe and Italian nobles created private clubs known as ridotti to enjoy their favorite pastime.

Modern casinos are large, impressive buildings with beautiful decor and a mind-boggling array of games. They have hotels, restaurants, non-gambling game rooms, bars and other amenities to appeal to the full range of vacationers and business people who visit them. Many casinos have a sophisticated security system that includes both physical security forces and a specialized department for closed circuit television surveillance known as the eye in the sky.

While all casinos are designed to make money by offering a game with a built in house advantage, the actual amount of money a casino makes can vary widely from day to day and from game to game. In order to maximize profits, casinos provide their best players with comps such as free hotel rooms, shows and meals. They may even offer limo service and airline tickets for their biggest spenders.