What is a Casino?
A casino is a special establishment where people can gamble and play games of chance. While casinos often include a variety of luxuries to attract patrons such as restaurants, free drinks and stage shows, they wouldn’t exist without the games themselves. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, keno and baccarat provide the billions in profits raked in by casinos every year.
The earliest modern casinos were built in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and on American Indian reservations, which are not subject to state antigambling laws. As more states legalized gambling during the 1980s and ’90s, casino gambling spread throughout the United States, with many casinos located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Some of these casinos are massive and offer a complete entertainment experience with hotel, shopping centers, restaurants and other luxuries.
Most casinos have table games, such as baccarat (known as chemin de fer in France), blackjack, and trente et quarante in Europe. They also have machines, such as slot machines and video poker, which are the economic mainstay of American casinos, since they require very little space and can be programmed to return a specific percentage of money wagered.
Some casinos use technology to monitor the quality of their games. For example, chips with built-in microcircuitry allow casinos to supervise betting minute-by-minute and detect any anomalies; and roulette wheels are electronically monitored for statistical deviations. Many other casinos employ a range of other technological devices to help ensure fair play, such as video surveillance and electronic “chip tracking” systems.