What Is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people gamble. Though some casinos add a host of luxuries to appeal to patrons, the vast majority of revenue (and profits) is generated by games of chance such as blackjack, poker, roulette, craps and slot machines. While musical shows, lighted fountains and shopping centers can make casinos more appealing to visitors, they would not exist without the billions of dollars in gambling profits they generate each year.

While the precise origins of casino games are not known, they certainly predate modern society, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice found in ancient archaeological sites. Throughout history, the need to place a wager has proven an effective pastime for many.

In modern times, the casino is often seen as a glamorous entertainment complex, offering top-notch restaurants, luxury rooms and spas. It is also known for attracting high rollers who place large bets, often in the tens of thousands of dollars. These gamblers are often rewarded with comps, or free goods and services, such as hotel rooms, meals, tickets to shows or even airline flights.

Most modern casinos are heavily guarded, with a physical security force patrolling the floors and a specialized department responsible for monitoring closed circuit television, which is sometimes referred to as the “eye-in-the-sky” system. These systems can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons and are highly sophisticated, allowing surveillance workers to see the exact movement of every coin and chip in every game.

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