What Is a Casino?
A casino, also known as a gambling house, is an establishment for gambling. In the United States, casinos are regulated by state law and can only be operated by those with a license. The gambling industry is estimated to be worth billions and generates millions of jobs. The world’s top casinos offer everything from spectacular entertainment and luxury suites to gourmet restaurants, upscale shops, and pools. Some casinos are built into hotels and resorts, while others stand alone.
While gambling probably dates back as far as human history, the modern casino did not develop until the 16th century during a craze for gambling among European aristocrats. Their parties, called ridotti, centered on a variety of games including billiards and archery, but the most popular game was dice.
The modern casino was brought to America by real estate investors and hotel chains that saw the opportunity for profit. Unlike the mafia-run casinos of earlier times, these new operators could afford to make big profits without fear of mob interference. The modern casino is a complex enterprise with dozens of operations, each operating independently, but under the umbrella of a larger corporate structure.
While the idea of a casino may conjure up images of Las Vegas and Atlantic City, there are actually many more casinos in the world. Some are very small and operate in cities with few tourists while others are large and opulent and attract visitors from all over the world. Because of the huge amounts of money that are handled in a casino, both patrons and employees have the potential to cheat and steal, either in collusion or as independent actions. Casinos employ security measures to prevent these events from occurring, including surveillance cameras and other technology.