Casinos make billions each year by entertaining and enticing people to gamble. Musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and luxury hotels draw people in, but the main reason to visit casinos is to play games of chance. Black jack, roulette, baccarat, craps and slot machines are among the games that produce most of the revenue for casinos.
Casino gambling is legal in Nevada and several other states, but the largest concentration is in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, which each attract over 100 million visitors a year. Casinos have also become popular in Indian reservations, where state anti-gambling laws do not apply.
A casino is a place where a lot of money is handled, so security is a big issue. Patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently; most casinos have security measures to prevent this. Casinos also use technology to monitor games; for example, chips with built-in microcircuitry allow casinos to track the exact amounts wagered minute-by-minute and to detect any statistical deviations from expected results; and roulette wheels are electronically monitored to discover any tampering.
Casinos often offer free services and products to big spenders, or “comps,” to encourage them to play. These perks may include hotel rooms, show tickets, food, drink and even airline tickets. Many casinos have a player’s club, where guests can earn comps by playing games of chance. The concept of a single place where people can find a variety of ways to gamble dates back centuries, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice found at ancient archaeological sites. However, the modern casino as we know it developed in the 16th century, during a gambling craze in Europe.