A Casino is a building or room in which people can gamble on games of chance. Table games like blackjack and poker require a certain amount of skill, while roulette and slot machines are more dependent on luck. In addition to the gambling, some casinos offer live entertainment and restaurants. The Bellagio in Las Vegas is perhaps the most famous casino, but there are many others around the world.
Although casino games date back to ancient times, the modern concept of a centralized venue for multiple types of gambling didn’t develop until the 16th century. At that time a gaming craze swept Europe and wealthy Italian aristocrats would gather in private rooms called ridotti to play. [Source: Schwartz]
The modern casino relies heavily on technology to keep patrons safe and the games fair. Casinos have video cameras everywhere on the casino floor and in the rooms where players are seated. Many have “chip tracking,” which enables them to monitor the chips’ exact movements minute by minute and quickly detect any anomaly. In addition, some casinos have catwalks that allow security personnel to look directly down on table and slot machines through one-way glass.
In order to maximize their profits, casinos place a mathematical advantage on every game they offer. Though it’s often less than two percent, the casino’s edge adds up over the millions of bets placed by customers each year. This profit allows the casino to build hotels, fountains, towers and replicas of famous landmarks. The casinos also reward loyal patrons with free hotel rooms, meals, tickets to shows and limo service.