Casino is a gambling establishment that offers a variety of games of chance, conducted by live dealers. These include table games like blackjack, craps and roulette. Also included are poker and slot machines, which are electronic devices that operate on random numbers. Casinos may also offer non-gambling activities such as restaurants, hotels and spas. Some casinos are enormous, with multiple floors and dozens of games. Others are smaller, with a focus on elegance and fewer tables and games.
Gambling probably predates written history, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice found in archaeological sites [Source: Schwartz]. But the casino as a place to find many forms of gambling under one roof didn’t develop until the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe. Italian aristocrats met in private clubs known as ridotti to gamble, drink and socialize. Because these were private clubs, they were often not bothered by authorities. The advent of the modern casino prompted a proliferation of these venues.
Casinos rely on a lot of security measures, including video cameras and manned surveillance. Security personnel watch over the games from catwalks that extend above the floor, enabling them to look down on patrons through one-way glass. In addition, many casinos have “chip tracking” systems that allow them to monitor betting chips minute by minute and detect tampering; roulette wheels are electronically monitored to discover any deviation from their expected results. Something about gambling, perhaps the fact that large amounts of money are involved, seems to encourage people to cheat, steal and scam their way to a jackpot. This drains local resources and leads to negative economic impacts for the community.