A casino is a place where people can gamble, often in a controlled environment. The game of gambling is ancient, and it can be found in many cultures throughout the world.
The history of casino games dates back to the 16th century, when a gambling craze was popular in Europe. In Italy, aristocrats held private parties in places called ridotti [Source: Schwartz].
Gambling was illegal until the 18th century, but it became legal in most European countries after that. During the twentieth century, nearly all countries changed their laws to allow casinos.
Casinos make money by taking a percentage of each bet that is placed on their casino games. That amount, known as a casino advantage or vig, is a virtual guarantee of gross profit for the casino.
They also attract guests by offering luxurious living quarters, transportation and spectacular entertainment. Even less-skilled gamblers are offered extravagant inducements, such as free drinks and cigarettes while playing.
Modern casinos have a number of security measures, including a physical force and a specialized surveillance department. These departments work closely together to monitor the area and detect potential crime. They use closed-circuit television systems, known as the “eye in the sky,” to ensure the safety of their guests.