The casino – whether in Las Vegas, Atlantic City or elsewhere – is the ultimate place to try your luck with gambling games. These establishments are heavily regulated and have high-level security to prevent cheating, theft and other crimes. Casinos also provide a variety of other activities and services, such as dining, entertainment, hotel rooms and more.
While gambling probably predates recorded history, the modern casino didn’t appear until the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe and Italian nobles opened private clubhouses called ridotti [Source: Schwartz]. Gambling was still illegal at this time, but these smaller clubs allowed patrons to find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof and avoid attracting attention from authorities.
Something about the presence of large sums of money seems to encourage people to cheat and steal, whether in collusion or independently. This is why casinos spend so much time and effort on security. For instance, some have catwalks in the ceiling that allow security personnel to look down through one-way glass on patrons playing table games or slot machines.
Casinos use technology extensively for security purposes. For instance, a system called “chip tracking” lets them see how much money is wagered minute by minute; electronic systems in roulette wheels can discover and warn the staff of any statistical deviations that might indicate cheating; and video cameras monitor every facet of casino operations to ensure adherence to strict rules. These and many other security measures make it impossible for a casino to lose money. In fact, it is so rare for a casino to actually lose money that it often offers big bettors extravagant inducements like free spectacular entertainment and luxury accommodations.