A casino is an indoor amusement park for adults with the vast majority of its entertainment (and profits) coming from gambling. Although musical shows, lighted fountains and shopping centers help draw in visitors, casinos would not exist without games of chance such as slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, keno and baccarat. Each game has a built in statistical advantage for the casino that, over time and with millions of bets, earns the establishment billions of dollars in annual profits.
Casinos are large, luxurious facilities that feature multiple gaming tables and thousands of slot machines. They also offer hotel rooms, restaurants, non-gambling game rooms, bars and other amenities. Some have giant pyramids, towers or replicas of famous landmarks as part of their decor.
While gambling probably existed in some form before recorded history – primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice have been found in archaeological sites – the modern concept of a casino as an all-in-one venue for a wide variety of betting activities did not develop until the 16th century during a gambling craze in Europe. The word casino is believed to have originated in Italy, where wealthy aristocrats used private party spaces called ridotti for gambling and socializing.
Because of the large amounts of money that are handled inside casinos, both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or on their own. To combat this, casinos employ a number of security measures. For example, cameras throughout the facility monitor gaming activity; pit bosses and table managers supervise games from a raised platform; and roulette wheels are electronically monitored to discover any statistical deviations that could be caused by tampering.