A casino is a place where patrons can try their luck at games of chance. Although casinos offer musical shows, restaurants and shopping centers to entice gamblers to stay, they would not exist without the games that earn them billions in profits every year. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and keno are the games that drive the money that casino owners use to build elaborate hotels, lighted fountains and replicas of pyramids and towers.
The word casino is usually associated with Las Vegas, but gambling in some form can be found in many places, from ancient Mesopotamia and Rome to Napoleon’s France and Elizabethan England. The precise origin of gambling is not known, but it is generally believed to be based on a mix of luck and skill.
Casinos are built with one overriding goal in mind — keep the patrons happy and make them feel they’re having a unique experience. The décor can vary from one establishment to the next, but most casinos strive for an air of elegance. Lush carpets, glitzy lighting and carefully designed hallways are common elements.
Security is another big concern. Dedicated casino employees keep their eyes on the game floor, catching blatant cheats like palming, marking cards and switching dice. Casinos also have a high-tech eye-in-the-sky, with cameras watching each table, window and doorway. These cameras can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons by security workers in a room filled with banks of security monitors.