What Is a Casino?

A casino is a gambling establishment that offers various games of chance, the most famous of which are blackjack, roulette and craps. A casino also features stage shows and dramatic scenery. A casino is a common feature in many hotels, resorts, and even some cruise ships. It is also a popular destination for tourists and business travelers.

The precise origin of gambling is unknown, but it is believed to have been present in almost every society. From primitive protodice (cut knuckle bones) and carved six-sided dice to the more modern casino and its luxuries, gambling is a popular pastime all over the world.

Gambling has certainly been around since prehistoric times, with a plethora of ancient archaeological sites showing dice and other gaming devices. However, the casino as a place where people can find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof didn’t really develop until the 16th century when a gambling craze swept Europe. Aristocrats often held private parties in places known as Ridotti where gambling was a central activity and they were rarely bothered by legal authorities [Source: Schwartz].

Due to the large amount of money that is handled within a casino, security measures are essential. Casinos typically employ both a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. The latter is able to track the movements of patrons via closed circuit television cameras. In addition, windows are rare in casinos and clocks don’t exist because the lack of them helps players lose track of time and stay lost on the casino floor.