What is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people gamble. Guests place bets against the house and each game has its own built-in edge that helps casinos make money. The most popular games include slot machines, blackjack, poker, roulette and craps. Many of these games have a history that dates back to ancient times. Some primitive protodice, or carved six-sided dice, have been found in archeological digs. The modern casino, however, didn’t develop until the 16th century when a gambling craze swept Europe and wealthy Italian nobles held private parties at places called ridotti [Source: Schwartz].

Something about the way that casinos are set up encourages people to cheat or steal, especially when the amounts involved are large. As a result, casinos devote a great deal of time and money to security. The games are arranged so that the expected reactions and motions of players follow certain patterns, making it easier for security personnel to spot unusual activities.

In the United States, most casinos are based in Nevada. Las Vegas is famous for its many and varied casinos, and Atlantic City is also home to a number of gambling establishments. Other major casinos are located in Macau, which has been developing rapidly since becoming a special territory of China. In Europe, a number of well-known casinos can be found in cities such as Cannes, Nice and Divonne-les-Bains. In general, casinos are more common in countries with legalized gambling.