What Is a Casino?
A casino is a place where a wide variety of gambling activities take place. It is often combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants and retail shopping. Some casinos also feature stage shows and dramatic scenery. Casinos have a high percentage of revenue from slot machines and table games, but also rely on other sources to make money. For example, they may charge a ‘vig’ on certain types of games or charge admission to special events.
The casino concept developed in the 16th century when a gaming craze swept Europe. Wealthy Italian nobles gathered in private clubs called ridotti to gamble and enjoy the entertainment of other rich patrons. Although gambling almost certainly predates recorded history – primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice have been found in archaeological sites – the casino as a centralized location for all forms of gambling did not develop until this time.
Because of the large amounts of cash handled in casinos, security is a big issue. Casinos have numerous security measures, including surveillance cameras, to prevent cheating and theft by both patrons and staff. In addition, employees are trained to spot shady behavior and report it to management.
Since casinos rely on patrons to generate income, they strive to provide a high level of service and offer a variety of perks to encourage spending. A good example is the comp program, which offers free hotel rooms, show tickets and meals to frequent players. The program is typically computerized, allowing casinos to track patrons’ playing habits and spending patterns.