What Is a Casino?
Gambling in its many forms has been around for centuries. Primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice have been found in archaeological digs as well as medieval taverns, but the casino as we know it now didn’t emerge until the 16th century when a gambling craze swept Europe and wealthy Italian nobles held private parties in venues called ridotti [Source: Schwartz]. Today’s casinos often feature multiple gambling products and are largely run by investment banks, which have more money than the mafia did and can afford to hire a team of investigators to search for any hint of mob involvement.
The biggest casinos have thousands of slot machines and tables for various games of chance. Tables for poker, blackjack and roulette are all popular. Many casinos also offer Asian-themed table games like sic bo, fan-tan and pai gow. In addition to these traditional table games, casinos usually have a number of high-tech electronic machines that allow players to place bets from the comfort of their seats, without the need for dealers or other personnel.
A casino’s main source of income is its gambling machines. Some slots require a large amount of money to be played, while others are designed for smaller players with less cash on hand. Players who play the most often at a given casino can receive comps, or free goods and services, from the establishment. This can include everything from food to hotel rooms and limo service to airline tickets, depending on the amount of money spent.