What is a Casino?

The casino is a gambling establishment that offers games of chance. It is a very large industry and, according to the American Gaming Association, in 2002 approximately 51 million people visited casinos both domestically and abroad. It was the largest number ever recorded, though this figure is likely an underestimate. Casinos are designed around noise, excitement and the chance of winning money. They usually offer a variety of casino bonuses to attract new players. These can include free spins on slot machines, tournaments and a wide range of other promotions.

Gambling almost certainly predates written history, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice found in some of the world’s oldest archaeological sites [Source: Schwartz]. But the modern concept of a casino as a place where gamblers could find a variety of ways to win under one roof didn’t develop until the 16th century. During this time, a gambling craze swept Europe, and Italian aristocrats would hold private parties at places known as ridotti. These were not considered legal casinos because gambling was illegal, but the authorities didn’t seem to care because of the popularity of these social gatherings.

In the twenty-first century, casino owners have become much choosier about who they allow to gamble there. High rollers are given a special treatment, and they often gamble in rooms separate from the main floor, where the stakes can be in the tens of thousands of dollars. In addition, these players will usually receive comps, which are free goods and services such as hotel rooms, meals, tickets to shows, limo service and airline tickets.