A casino is a special establishment that allows patrons to gamble on various games of chance with the hope of winning money. While musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels lure the crowds, casinos would not exist without the billions of dollars in profit generated by games of chance such as slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and keno.
The concept of gambling predates written history, with primitive protodice (cut knuckle bones) and carved six-sided dice found in many ancient archaeological sites [Source: Schwartz]. However, the modern casino as a place where gamblers can find all types of ways to win under one roof did not develop until the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe and Italian aristocrats began holding private parties called ridotti to indulge in their passion for playing cards and throwing dice. These were technically illegal, but the social commotion and high stakes meant that gamblers weren’t bothered by authorities much.
Today, casinos have grown into full-blown resorts, offering everything from a Michelin-star restaurant to a world-class spa. They are also designed to be beautiful – inside and out.
Something about gambling encourages people to cheat and steal, which is why casinos spend a lot of time and money on security. They have cameras that watch every table, change window and doorway. There are even surveillance rooms filled with banks of monitors that can be adjusted by security personnel to focus on suspicious patrons. The routines and patterns of gaming also make it easy for security people to spot anything out of the ordinary.