What Is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people can gamble and play games of chance. While some casinos have a lighted fountain, musical shows, shopping centers and other attractions to attract visitors, gambling is the heart of the casino business.

The History of the Casino

Gambling has been around for thousands of years and the first casino was probably built in the 16th century as a small clubhouse for Italian aristocrats to hold private parties. These clubs were called ridottos and, technically, gambling was illegal at the time, but rarely were these establishments bothered by legal authorities.

The Popular Casino Games

The most popular games at casinos are slot machines, blackjack and roulette. These games earn the most money for the casino, and are the ones that require the least player skill or strategy.


The United States is home to the largest live poker events in the world, and you can find a variety of poker tables at many casinos. There are also video poker machines in casinos, which use a computer chip to control the outcome of each hand.


A typical casino has a number of different levels of security. Dealers are trained to spot blatant cheating, like palming or marking cards or dice, and to be alert to any betting patterns that could signal a problem. Table managers and pit bosses monitor the tables as a whole, making sure patrons aren’t cheating and that the games are being played fairly. In addition, elaborate surveillance systems allow cameras in the ceiling to watch every table and change windows and doors.