A casino is much more than just a place to gamble. They are a mini-entertainment complexes complete with hotels, shopping, restaurants and musical shows that bring in billions of dollars every year. But casinos would not exist without the games of chance that are played inside them. Slots, blackjack, roulette and craps are the games that provide the millions of bets that fuel casinos’ profits.
Although gambling has probably existed since the beginning of recorded history, the casino as a place where multiple forms of gambling could be found under one roof didn’t emerge until the 16th century. A gambling craze in Europe at that time saw the rise of private clubs for the wealthy, known as ridotti, where casino-like games were played.
Casinos can be seen worldwide and are often located in places where gambling is legal, such as Las Vegas, Nevada and Atlantic City, New Jersey. They are also popular in American Indian reservations, which are not subject to state antigambling laws, and are increasingly common in South America.
While a lot of money is handled within casinos, and there is always the possibility that patrons may cheat or steal (or both in collusion), most casinos have a variety of security measures to protect their assets. These range from security cameras to high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” systems that monitor everything on the casino floor, in every room and through any change of window or doorway – they can even be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons by security workers in a separate room filled with banks of security screens.