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What is a Casino?

A casino, also known as a gaming house or kasino (in Spanish), is a building or room in which gambling activities take place. Modern casinos often combine gambling with other attractions such as restaurants, hotels and resorts. Casinos are usually open 24 hours a day and offer a variety of games, including blackjack, poker, craps and roulette. Casinos may also feature entertainment options like stage shows and dramatic scenery.

Although gambling has existed as long as recorded history, the modern casino as a venue where patrons can find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof did not emerge until the 16th century when the popularity of gambling grew during a period of social unrest in Europe. At this time, Italian aristocrats held private parties in places called ridotti that were technically illegal but rarely bothered by authorities.

Today, casinos are big business and are designed to be fun and exciting. While musical shows and lighted fountains draw in the crowds, it is the games of chance that provide the billions in profits that casinos bring in each year.

Gambling has become an industry where sophisticated technology and top-notch security help keep the mob out of the business. Video cameras watch and record the action at tables, while computer systems monitor betting chips with built-in microcircuitry, track the exact amount of money wagered on each spin of a roulette wheel, and alert casino security to any statistical deviations from expected results.