A Casino is a modern day version of the old gambling houses of yesteryear. The modern casinos add a variety of luxuries like restaurants, shopping centers and stage shows to their traditional gambling activities but the main attraction remains games of chance. Slots, blackjack, roulette and craps bring in billions of dollars for casinos every year.
Gambling is an age-old activity and there are traces of primitive dice, astragali (cut knuckle bones) and carved six-sided dice in the earliest archaeological records. However the modern idea of a casino with its collection of games under one roof didn’t take hold until the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe and Italian aristocrats began throwing parties at places known as ridotti [Source: Schwartz].
The first casinos were often elaborate entertainment complexes with dining, drinking and performance areas. Many of these sprang up in cities with rich populations where people would come to gamble and socialize. They could include all the glitz and glamour of today’s Vegas-style megaplexes or be sleek, glass and steel temples to overindulgence.
Casinos have a variety of ways to draw in players, from high-tech surveillance systems and computerized gambling machines to opulent buffets and nightclubs. Some have even added luxury hotels and museums to their mix. But the heart of a casino is still its gambling halls, where the excitement and risks of games of chance attract sharks and amateurs alike. This article will explore how casinos make their money, the history behind them, what to expect when visiting a casino and the dark side of the business.