What Is a Casino?
A casino is a gambling establishment that offers various games of chance to its patrons. It is a popular form of entertainment that attracts tourists and locals alike. Successful casinos bring in billions of dollars each year to the corporations, investors, and Native American tribes that own and operate them. In addition, state and local governments benefit from the taxes and fees that casinos pay. Casino gambling has also been introduced at racetracks to create racinos, and game machines are sometimes allowed in bars, restaurants, truck stops, and other small businesses.
Gambling almost certainly predates recorded history, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice found in ancient archaeological sites. But the casino as a gathering place for multiple forms of gambling did not develop until the 16th century, when it became popular during a gambling craze in Europe. The elegant spa town of Baden-Baden, Germany, began hosting high-stakes gamblers at a facility known as the Ridotti [Source: Schwartz].
While there is no single definition of casino, most include gambling facilities and non-gambling amenities such as top-notch hotels, restaurants, spas, and bars. In the United States, casino gambling is most prevalent in Nevada and Atlantic City, although several other cities have large concentrations of gaming venues as well. Casinos are typically open 24 hours a day and have numerous security measures in place to ensure the safety of their patrons and staff. Because of the huge sums of money that change hands within a casino, many states have passed laws regulating the types and amounts of currency that may be handled there.