A Casino is a facility for certain types of gambling. While casinos offer much more than just gambling, the overwhelming majority of their revenues come from games such as slot machines, black jack roulette, keno and craps. These games provide the billions in profit that casinos rake in every year.
Gambling in some form predates recorded history, with primitive protodice and carved knuckle bones found in ancient archaeological sites. The modern casino, however, did not emerge until the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe. At the time, aristocrats often met at private clubs called ridotti to play games of chance and skill for fun and socializing. While technically illegal, these private clubs were rarely bothered by the authorities.
Today, a casino is like an indoor amusement park for adults. They are designed around noise, light and excitement, with the most common games being slots, video poker and table games such as blackjack and craps. Some casinos also feature far eastern games such as sic bo, fan-tan and pai gow.
Casinos must be careful to prevent their patrons from cheating or stealing. To this end, they use security cameras placed throughout the premises and employ staff to watch tables and change rooms. They may also hire a croupier to manage each game, who is responsible for collecting and recording wagers.
The largest concentration of casinos is in Nevada, followed by Atlantic City and then Chicago. Almost 40 states now allow some form of casino gambling, driven by interstate competition and the desire to boost tourism.