The Casino is Still a Gambling House

The Casino is Still a Gambling House


The casino may look like an indoor amusement park for adults with its musical shows, lighted fountains, hotels and elaborate themes, but it is still a gambling house and the billions of dollars in profits it generates are the result of gamblers taking chances on games of chance. These games include slots, roulette, craps, baccarat, blackjack and poker.

Although gambling in some form probably predates recorded history, it took a long time for it to develop as a place where players could find many different forms of gambling under one roof. It appears that this happened in the 16th century, during a gambling craze in Europe, when Italian aristocrats held private parties at places called ridotti [Source: Schwartz].

There is a virtual guarantee of gross profit for casinos because all their games have mathematical odds that give the house an advantage over patrons. This is sometimes expressed as the “house edge.” It also applies to poker, where a commission known as the rake is taken by the casino.

Gambling houses take a number of steps to keep their patrons happy. Free food and drinks help keep them on the premises and might even get them intoxicated, but these are not really measures to reduce the house edge. To disguise the fact that patrons are risking their money, they often use chips instead of real cash. These are easier to track and help conceal the size of losses. Casinos also offer a variety of other luxuries, such as stage shows and dramatic scenery.