A casino is a place where people gamble on games of chance and in some cases skill. Games of chance are mostly games of pure luck, while games like poker and blackjack require some degree of skill to play well. While entertainment, shopping centers, musical shows, and lighted fountains help draw in visitors, casinos would not exist without the billions of dollars in profits made by gambling. Slot machines, black jack, roulette, craps and keno are the main source of revenue for casinos in the United States.
Gambling probably predates recorded history, with primitive protodice (cut knuckle bones) and carved six-sided dice appearing in some of the world’s oldest archaeological sites. But the modern casino as a place where people could find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof didn’t develop until the 16th century, when Europeans took up a new gambling craze and created private gaming houses called ridotti.
Security at a casino starts on the floor, where employees keep an eye on patrons to make sure everyone is playing fair. Dealers watch for blatant cheating techniques like palming, marking or switching cards and dice. Pit bosses and table managers have a broader view, watching over the tables to make sure players aren’t stealing from each other or betting in suspicious patterns. Each person on the casino floor also has a “higher-up” in a room filled with banks of security monitors who tracks their play and makes notes about cheating or unusual betting patterns.