A Casino is a gambling establishment offering a wide variety of games of chance. These include slots, poker, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and keno. Often casinos offer free tournaments and other promotions to attract players. Casinos also provide top-notch customer service.
While gambling probably predates recorded history, the modern casino did not develop until the 16th century. At that time a gambling craze swept Europe and Italian nobles began to frequent private clubs called ridotti (after the city of Ridotto). These were not open to all and were not licensed or regulated, but they offered a variety of games to patrons. [Source: Schwartz].
From this genesis the modern casino has grown to be a worldwide phenomenon. In the United States, casinos are primarily found in Atlantic City, on American Indian reservations and, since the 1980s, on riverboats and other locations out of state where the federal government has relaxed antigambling laws.
The game of choice at most casinos is the slot machine, which generates a large percentage of casino income. The player simply places money in a machine, pulls a handle or pushes a button and watches the varying bands of colored shapes roll past on reels (actual physical or electronic). If a winning pattern appears, the player receives a payout determined by the casino before the game started. Unlike other casino games, no amount of skill or strategy can increase the likelihood of hitting a winning combination. A mathematical advantage given to the casino by the game rules guarantees that it will earn more than it loses.