What is a Casino?


Casino is a gambling establishment that provides patrons with a variety of games of chance and some skill. It also offers restaurants and entertainment. Most casinos are located in Las Vegas, Nevada; others operate in Atlantic City and other parts of the United States. A few casinos are located in Europe and Asia.

Slot machines are the most popular casino game and generate a larger proportion of a casino’s money than any other type of game. They are easy to play — a player inserts a coin, pulls a handle, or pushes a button, and waits for a predetermined pattern to appear on varying bands of colored shapes rolling past on reels (actual physical reels or video representations of them). No amount of player skill or strategy can affect the outcome.

Gambling almost certainly predates recorded history, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice found in many ancient archaeological sites [Source: Schwartz]. The casino as an institution where people could find a wide variety of ways to gamble under one roof didn’t develop until the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe. Rich Italian aristocrats gathered at ridotti, private clubs where gambling was legal and encouraged.

To increase their profits, casinos focus on attracting and keeping high-spenders, or “high rollers.” These are the people who bet large sums of money, often in special rooms away from the main casino floor. They are favored with comps such as free rooms, meals and tickets to shows. Casinos use technology to make sure that players are not cheating, whether in collusion with each other or independently. For example, the chips in roulette and some other games have microcircuitry that enables them to be tracked minute by minute and alerted to statistical deviations from expected results.