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What is a Casino?

What is a Casino?

A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. It may also be combined with a hotel, restaurant, retail shops or cruise ship. The term is also used for the games themselves, such as poker and blackjack.

While gambling likely predates recorded history, the casino as an organized facility where people can find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof didn’t emerge until the 16th century when a flurry of European interest in the game led to the creation of gaming houses known as ridotti. These exclusive clubs resembled palaces and were visited by aristocrats from across Europe who came to play the various games of chance.

The modern casino is a complex business, with every game having its own built in advantage for the house. The edge can be quite small — less than two percent for a slot machine — but over time it can add up to huge amounts of gross revenue. These profits allow casinos to build elaborate hotels, fountains, towers and replicas of famous landmarks.

Something about gambling seems to encourage cheating and scamming, which is why casinos spend a great deal of time, effort and money on security. Casinos are designed around noise, light and excitement, and alcoholic drinks are readily available to players through waiters who circulate through the gaming area. The floor is often covered with brightly colored, gaudy carpets that stimulate the senses and make it easy to lose track of time.