Fri. Jul 19th, 2024


A casino is a place where people can gamble and play games of chance. It can also include other entertainment features like restaurants, free drinks and stage shows. While gambling likely predates recorded history with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice, the concept of a dedicated public facility that housed a variety of gambling activities under one roof did not emerge until the 16th century. This occurred when a gambling craze swept Europe, and wealthy Italian nobles hosted their parties in small private gambling houses known as ridotti [Source: Schwartz].

A modern casino may be a high-tech playground for the rich with everything from elaborate themed décor to a plethora of games of chance to keep patrons occupied. While musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and luxurious hotel rooms help attract visitors, casinos would not exist without their most essential element: the games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, keno and other games provide the billions in annual revenue that keeps casinos running.

Despite their reputation for excess, all casinos have one thing in common: They expect to make money. The odds of losing a game are built into every casino game, and the overall expected net profit is known as the casino’s “house edge.” To ensure their profits, casinos offer comps to high rollers—free hotel rooms, dinners, tickets to shows and even limo service and airline tickets.

Whether it’s a Las Vegas megaplex or the elegant spa town of Baden-Baden, gambling is an industry that draws crowds from around the world. Regardless of location, all casinos are exposed to the same basic security risks: The large amounts of currency handled within the building can encourage both patrons and staff to cheat or steal, either in collusion with each other or independently. This is why casinos spend so much time and money on security.