What is a Casino?


A Casino is an entertainment facility whose main source of revenue is gambling. Musical shows, lighted fountains and shopping centers may draw in visitors, but casino owners rake in billions every year thanks to games of chance like slot machines, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps and poker.

The precise origin of gambling is unknown, but it appears in almost every society, from primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice found at archeological sites to the modern-day casino, where gaming is a multibillion-dollar industry. The casino as a venue that provides a variety of ways to gamble under one roof developed around the 16th century during a gambling craze in Europe. Italian nobles often held gambling parties at their houses, called ridotti, during this time.

Today’s casinos offer a mix of casino-style games and electronic gambling machines, with the majority of profits coming from the former. According to a 2005 survey conducted by Harrah’s Entertainment, the typical casino gambler was a forty-six-year-old female from a household with above average income. These women were more likely to choose video poker than their male counterparts.

Casinos make money by giving patrons a statistical advantage over them, sometimes as low as two percent. They do this by offering high-speed wagering, a wide variety of betting options, and the ability to adjust payouts. Something about gambling seems to encourage people to cheat and steal, either in collusion or independently; thus casinos spend a great deal of time and money on security measures.