The Casino Industry

The casino industry generates billions of dollars a year for owners, investors, corporations and Native American tribes. It also draws in thousands of visitors, who are persuaded to spend money on games of chance and skill. Many casinos are built on land, but they can also be found on boats and barges on lakes and rivers, at racetracks converted to racinos, and in truck stops, bars and restaurants. Some states allow casino-type gambling in a limited number of locations, and some even permit casino games on Indian reservations, where state antigambling laws do not apply.

Casinos provide a variety of entertainment for their customers, from video poker to table games like roulette and blackjack. The games are usually controlled by a central computer, and patrons are offered varying amounts of money depending on their play. The casino profits from the difference between the amount a player wins and the initial investment.

Although the casino concept dates back to primitive dice games (the earliest dice were cut knuckle bones), a modern casino as we know it developed in the 16th century, along with a gambling craze. Italian aristocrats often held private parties called ridotti in their homes, where they gambled on games of chance with family and friends.

Casinos have high security standards to prevent cheating and robbery. Some have elaborate surveillance systems that offer an “eye-in-the-sky” view of every table, window and doorway in the building. Other security measures include training dealers and pit bosses to spot blatant cheating techniques, such as palming or marking cards, and providing players with a clear view of the cards they hold while playing. Casinos also promote responsible gambling by offering self-exclusion options and deposit limits.