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What is a Casino?

A casino is an establishment for gambling. It is also known as a gaming house or a gambling hall. In the United States, casinos are generally located in cities with large populations or on Native American reservation land. They are regulated by government agencies and operate under a license granted by the state where they are located. In addition to gambling, casinos often feature restaurants and bars. They may host live entertainment events, such as concerts or stand-up comedy.

Although gambling likely predates recorded history, the modern casino as a place for people to find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof did not develop until the 16th century, during a period when a gambling craze swept Europe. Italian aristocrats would hold private parties at their homes, which were called ridotti, during this time, where they could play games such as sic bo (which eventually made its way to European and American casinos) and fan-tan.

In today’s modern casinos, much of the excitement and profits are generated by games of chance. While other attractions such as musical shows, lighted fountains and shopping centers draw patrons into casinos, they cannot function without the millions of dollars in profits from slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, keno and baccarat. Because of the enormous sums of money handled within casinos, patrons and staff are tempted to cheat and steal, either in collusion or independently. Because of this, casinos spend a great deal of time, effort and money on security.