A casino is a place where people can gamble on various games of chance. It usually offers table games like blackjack and roulette, as well as slot machines. It also features other entertainment like theater shows and restaurants. Casinos can be found in many countries around the world. They are a popular choice for tourists and locals alike.
While the modern casino may resemble an indoor amusement park for adults, it is not without its dark side. While musical shows and lighted fountains draw crowds, casinos primarily make their money by offering games of chance. Slot machines, poker, baccarat, craps and keno are just some of the casino games that draw players in to take a chance on their luck.
Although gambling almost certainly predates written history, it took centuries for the modern casino to develop. While there were a few places where wealthy Europeans could gamble, the modern idea of a casino grew out of a gambling craze that swept Europe in the 16th century. Italian aristocrats would meet in private clubs called ridotti to enjoy their favorite games of chance [Source: Schwartz].
In the twentieth century, casinos became even more lavish and focused on attracting high rollers. These gamblers can spend tens of thousands of dollars in a single session. To reward them, casinos offer comps, or free goods and services, such as hotel rooms, meals, show tickets and limo service.
Casinos are also rife with technology that allows them to monitor patrons and games. Elaborate surveillance systems have an eye-in-the-sky view of every table and window, allowing security to spot suspicious behavior or statistical deviations in the results of a game instantly.