What is a Casino?


Casino is a term used to describe games of chance and skill. These games can be played in massive resorts, at small card rooms and even on boats and barges. Successful casinos bring in billions of dollars each year for the companies, investors and Native American tribes that own them. They also generate a lot of tax revenues for state and local governments.

Casinos make money by charging a “vig” or “rake” on each bet placed by players. This rake can be as low as two percent of the total amount of money gambled, but it adds up over the millions of bets placed in a single casino. In addition, many casinos offer free goods and services to “good” players. These perks include free hotel rooms, meals and tickets to shows. Some casinos even give away limo service and airline tickets to the biggest spenders.

While gambling probably predates recorded history, the casino as a place to find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof did not develop until the 16th century during a gambling craze in Europe that saw Italian aristocrats gathering in “ridotti” [Source: Schwartz]. Today’s casinos employ sophisticated surveillance systems that allow security people to spot suspicious patrons based on their movements and routines. Cameras in the ceiling watch every table, window and doorway and can be adjusted to focus on specific suspicious patrons. These cameras are connected to computer monitors in a separate room that can quickly review the footage if a crime or cheating is detected.