What Is a Casino?


A casino, also known as a gambling establishment or a gaming hall, is a place where people can gamble on various games of chance. The precise origin of gambling is not known, but it is believed to have existed in many societies throughout history. Gambling in some form or another is present in most cultures, from Ancient Mesopotamia and Greece to Napoleon’s France and Elizabethan England. Casinos, especially those on the Vegas strip, take this idea to a whole new level.

The decor in casinos is designed to entice patrons and give them the feeling that they are experiencing something unique. Lush carpets and richly tiled hallways complement carefully designed lighting, which is often dimmed to add a sense of mystery and excitement. The noise levels are high, and alcoholic beverages are readily available. Waiters float around the casino, serving drinks and snacks to players.

Casinos rely on a variety of technological measures to ensure security. They have cameras at every table and monitor game activity remotely. In addition, they have rules of conduct and expected behavior that are enforced by security personnel. A friend of mine worked security in an Atlantic City casino and had to quit after 3 months because he was so disgusted by the number of patrons who stood at slot machines soiling themselves in the hopes that they were on a winning streak.

Historically, legitimate businessmen were reluctant to get involved in casinos because of their seamy reputation. But mobster money flowed into Reno and Las Vegas, and organized crime figures became personally involved and even took sole or partial ownership of some casinos.