A casino is a large, full-service establishment offering gambling-related entertainment to its guests. It features blackjack, roulette, poker, video slots and a number of other games. It is usually located in a resort or hotel and also features restaurants, bars, non-gambling game rooms, swimming pools, spas and other amenities. Its size and scope make it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
While dazzling lights, musical shows and elaborate themes draw in the crowds, casinos wouldn’t exist without the games of chance that provide billions in profits each year. Slot machines, card games such as baccarat (or its British counterpart, chemin de fer), blackjack and roulette are the mainstays of American casinos while European casino players prefer pai gow poker, trente et quarante, and other traditional far eastern table games.
The first modern casino was established in the 16th century during a gaming craze that swept Europe. It was a private club for Italian aristocrats who gambled for money and prestige. Although technically illegal, the aristocrats were rarely bothered by the Italian Inquisition.
Today there are hundreds of casinos around the world, some more renowned than others. One of the most famous is Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip, which is modeled after a Roman palace and has hosted the likes of Frank Sinatra and Liberace. The MGM Grand, which is another well-known casino, is known for its poker room and sports betting facilities with 60 large plasma TV’s.