The Casino – The Place Where Games of Chance Are Played
A casino is a place where a variety of games of chance can be played. It might sound like a boring old amusement park, but the truth is that casinos are the source of billions in profits for their owners each year. Although modern casinos add a dazzling array of amenities to lure patrons, they would not exist without gambling games. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and keno are the primary gambling activities that generate the billions of dollars in annual profits for casinos.
Casinos make their money by giving players a built in advantage over time that is known as the house edge. While this advantage can be very small — less than two percent on most casino games – it is enough to give the casinos the money to build huge hotels, fountains and replicas of famous landmarks.
The precise origin of gambling is unknown, but it has existed in one form or another for thousands of years. Some of the earliest archaeological evidence is of dice, with primitive protodice made of cut knuckle bones and carved six-sided ones found in ancient sites [Source: Schwartz]. However, the casino as a place where gamblers could find all sorts of ways to gamble under one roof did not appear until the 16th century when a gambling craze swept Europe. Italian aristocrats created private clubs called ridotti where they could play their favorite games of chance and socialize in peace.
Modern casinos use technology to enforce security and monitor games of chance. For example, video cameras watch casino visitors and alert security personnel if they are doing something out of the ordinary. Also, the patterns of behavior at a casino game, such as how dealers deal cards or where patrons place their chips on the table, follow certain routines. This makes it easier for casino security to spot unusual or illegal behavior.