What is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people gamble by playing games of chance. A casino also offers other entertainment such as stage shows and restaurants. Casinos are located in cities around the world. Some of them are famous and attract many visitors. The Bellagio in Las Vegas is one of the most famous casinos.

Gambling has been a popular form of recreation since ancient times, with primitive astragali and even carved six-sided dice found in archaeological digs [Source: Schwartz]. The modern casino, however, didn’t develop until the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe, and Italian nobles often hosted parties called ridotti where they played games of chance. Even though these events were technically illegal, the aristocrats weren’t bothered by the police so long as gambling was the primary activity.

While there’s always a chance that a game of chance will result in winning the jackpot, the fact is that the house has a built-in advantage over players, and this is known as the “house edge.” A casino’s goal is to keep enough customers betting for long periods of time so that its profits match up with those bets. In order to achieve this, a casino offers an array of luxuries such as free drinks and stage shows.

Some of the most common casino games are roulette, blackjack and craps. But Asian casinos often feature more traditional Far Eastern games such as sic bo, fan-tan and pai gow. In America, casinos rely heavily on slot machines and video poker, which offer the greatest profit margin. Something about gambling (perhaps the presence of large amounts of money) seems to encourage people to cheat, steal and scam, so a great deal of time and effort is spent by casinos on security.