What is a Casino?
A casino is a gambling establishment that offers one or more types of chance-based games. These establishments are often combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, and/or cruise ships. Casinos may also host live entertainment. The term casino can also refer to a specific room or area within a hotel or resort that is reserved for gaming.
Gambling has a long history, with examples ranging from the ancient Egyptian temple of Monte Carlo to the modern casinos of Las Vegas and Macau. More recently, many countries have liberalized their laws on gambling. In the twenty-first century, casinos have become even more elaborate and technologically advanced. Video cameras monitor all activity in casino games; a system called chip tracking keeps track of every bet placed, minute by minute; and roulette wheels are electronically monitored to detect any statistical deviations from their expected results.
In addition to the technological measures, casinos employ a variety of other security methods. Because of the large amounts of money that change hands, patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or individually. In most cases, this is prevented by a combination of surveillance systems and rules that discourage certain activities.
Casinos also reward high rollers with “comps” such as free hotel rooms, meals, shows, and limo service. They also tend to steer business toward their most popular games. According to the research firm Roper Reports, in 2005 the typical casino gambler was a forty-six-year-old woman from a household with above-average income.