Casinos are a huge industry and provide billions in profits for their owners every year. They are like indoor amusement parks for adults with a large majority of the entertainment (and profits) coming from games of chance. While musical shows, lighted fountains and elaborate themes draw in the crowds, casinos would not exist without games such as slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and poker.
Gambling probably predates recorded history, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice found in ancient archaeological sites. However, the modern casino as a place to find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof didn’t appear until the 16th century when a gambling craze swept Europe. Rich noblemen in Italy used to hold private parties called ridotti in which they would gamble and socialize, although technically they were breaking the law.
Modern casinos are regulated and have high standards of security. In addition to armed guards and video surveillance, most casinos employ pit bosses and table managers who oversee the games with a close eye on patrons to make sure there isn’t any cheating or stealing. These employees have a good understanding of the game’s rules and how they should be played, so it is easy for them to spot deviations from normal behavior.
In order to reward their big spenders, many casinos give out free goods or services to players known as comps. These freebies range from food and drinks to hotel rooms and show tickets. They are based on the amount of time and money a player spends playing the various games. In some cases, players can even get airline tickets and limo service as part of their comps.