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What Is a Casino?

What Is a Casino?

A casino is a gambling establishment where people can bet money or items of value against each other. They may also have entertainment, food and beverage services. Most casinos are operated by private companies and are usually licensed. Some are run by government agencies. The word casino is derived from the Italian ‘ridotti’ (little rooms).

Gambling in some form almost certainly predates recorded history, with primitive protodice such as cut knuckle bones and carved six-sided dice found at many archaeological sites. But the concept of a casino as a place for people to find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof did not develop until the 16th century when a craze for gambling spread throughout Europe. Rich Italian aristocrats would hold parties at their homes called ridotti, where gambling was the primary entertainment. Despite the fact that gambling was technically illegal, these private clubs were rarely bothered by the authorities.

In modern times, the term casino is most often associated with Las Vegas. However, it is possible to find casinos in other locations around the world. Most casinos are located in cities with large populations, but there are a growing number of smaller casinos on Native American reservations and other sites that do not have state-level antigambling laws.

Security at a casino begins on the floor, where employees keep a close eye on both the games and the patrons to make sure everything is running as it should. In addition to spotting blatant cheating like palming, marking or switching cards and dice, casino employees are also trained to look for betting patterns that might suggest a player is colluding with others at the table.