What Is a Casino?


A casino, also known as a gambling house or a gaming establishment, is an establishment where people can play various games of chance for money. Many casinos also offer other forms of entertainment, such as musical shows and dining.

While the precise origin of gambling is unknown, it is generally believed that the practice existed in some form throughout most of human history, with primitive forms such as knuckle bones and carved dice found in archaeological sites [Source: Schwartz]. The modern casino is much more than just a place to gamble; it is a complex entertainment facility that attracts millions of visitors each year.

Although a small percentage of the casino’s gross income comes from gambling, most of its profits are earned through non-gambling activities such as restaurants, hotel rooms and live entertainment. In addition, the casino business has a strong connection to organized crime, which historically provided mobsters with large amounts of cash that could be used to finance expansion and development projects. Eventually, legitimate businessmen such as Donald Trump and hotel chains, real estate investors and even some sports teams realized the potential of the casino industry and bought out mobsters, bringing in new funds and eliminating any mob involvement.

Casinos rely on a wide range of security measures to keep their patrons safe and their profits high. Most of these measures begin on the casino floor, where employees keep a close eye on game activity and casino patrons for any signs of cheating or fraud. For example, the way a dealer shuffles and deals cards follows certain patterns that are easy for security personnel to pick up on.