What Is a Casino?
A casino is a building or complex where people can gamble and play games of chance. The modern casino is similar to an indoor amusement park for adults, with the vast majority of the entertainment (and profits) coming from gambling. Musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers, lavish hotels and elaborate themes help draw in the guests.
The History of the Casino
Gambling has been a popular pastime in many countries since ancient times. However, the idea of a casino as an establishment for various types of gambling did not develop until the 16th century. During that time, a gambling craze swept Europe, and Italian aristocrats often held private parties in places called ridotti [Source: Schwartz].
How Casinos Make Their Money
Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, keno and more provide the billions of dollars in profit raked in by U.S. casinos every year.
Casinos also have to pay their employees, and they take a commission on most of the money the players win, known as the house edge. In some cases, they will even charge poker players based on how much time they spend in the room.
The Dark Side of the Casino
Most legitimate casino businesses have their own security staff to monitor their patrons and prevent crime. These guards are usually located near the tables and slots, so they can spot suspicious activity.
They can also keep tabs on their patrons by installing catwalks above the floor. These catwalks allow surveillance personnel to look down, through one-way glass, on the activities at the tables and slot machines. The casino may also employ a security consultant to ensure their security and compliance with local and federal laws.