What Is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. In some cases, casinos may also serve food and drink or host live entertainment events. Some casinos are owned by government-sponsored enterprises, while others are operated by private businesses or organizations. Regardless of ownership, all casinos share some common characteristics:

The precise origin of gambling is unknown, but it is believed to have predated recorded history, with primitive protodice (cut knuckle bones) and carved six-sided dice appearing in many archaeological sites. The development of a place for people to engage in a variety of gambling activities under one roof occurred during the 16th century, with the establishment of aristocratic “ridotti” in Italy and a worldwide gambling craze [Source: Schwartz].

While the most famous casino is probably the Bellagio in Las Vegas (made famous by the movie Ocean’s 11), there are many other well-known gaming spots throughout the world. From the elegance of Monte-Carlo to the sleek design of the Casino Lisboa in Lisbon, these casinos offer a range of betting options and games for both casual and high-stakes players.

Casinos spend a lot of time and money on security, because something about gambling encourages cheating and theft. Dealers are trained to look for the smallest telltale signs that a player is attempting to manipulate the game. In addition, the routines of casino games follow specific patterns that make it easier for security personnel to spot unusual activity. This is complemented by sophisticated technology that can monitor the betting patterns of casino patrons and detect any statistical deviations from expected results.