What is a Casino?


Gambling has been a part of human civilization for millennia. Wooden blocks were used for games of chance in 2300 BC China, dice came along around 500 AD, and playing cards became popular in the 1400s. Modern casinos, though, are much more sophisticated and offer a wide variety of casino games.

Casinos are primarily gambling establishments, which are operated by large companies that invest millions of dollars to determine what sounds, smells, and colors are most appealing to gamblers. While musical shows, lighted fountains, 5-star hotels, shopping centers and elaborate themes are all part of the experience, casinos would not exist without games of chance, which provide billions of dollars in profits for casinos each year.

The majority of casino revenues come from slot machines and table games, but a small percentage comes from bingo, keno and sports/race wagering. The most popular casino games are poker, blackjack, craps and roulette, with each game attracting about 50% of the total number of people who admit to having gambled in the past year.

People who bet big amounts are known as high rollers and are treated to special services such as free entertainment, transportation, elegant living quarters and lavish personal attention. Despite this, the casino business is still considered a low-risk venture because each game has a mathematical expectation of winning or losing within an established limit. This virtually assures a casino of making a profit for every person who gambles.