A Casino is a place where gamblers can play a variety of games of chance. They often offer other entertainment options, such as restaurants, free drinks, stage shows and dramatic scenery to attract players. Casinos earn their money by taking a small percentage of bets. This is known as the house edge and it is the primary source of casino profits.
Some casinos use sophisticated technology to monitor their tables and machines. For example, “chip tracking” allows the computer system to follow each betting chip minute-by-minute and warn of any anomaly. Roulette wheels are electronically monitored to discover any statistical deviation from expected results, and video cameras help ensure the honesty of dealers.
Craps, baccarat, blackjack, poker and other card games are also popular in many casinos. Some of the biggest casinos have thousands of slot machines, as well as multiple poker tables. These tables may be put in discreet private rooms for high rollers or VIP customers. Casinos often offer comps to their best players, which can include free hotel rooms, meals, tickets to shows and even limo service and airline tickets.
While gambling almost certainly predates recorded history, the modern casino as a facility to hold a variety of gambling activities under one roof didn’t develop until the 16th century when a gambling craze swept Europe. Aristocrats held a variety of private parties at places called ridotti, where they would gamble and socialize amongst themselves without being bothered by authorities [Source: Schwartz]. The word casino is believed to have originated from the Latin cazino, meaning little bar, or den, for a game of chance.