What Is a Casino?
A Casino is a place where a variety of games of chance are played. Casinos often add luxurious amenities to attract gamblers, such as restaurants, free drinks and stage shows. In some cases, casinos are also attached to hotels and resorts. Many state governments regulate the operation of casinos. Some, such as Nevada, have legalized gambling. Others prohibit it or limit the types of gambling available.
Gambling has probably existed as long as humans have had a sense of adventure. The first casinos arose in the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe. Italian aristocrats would hold private parties in venues called ridotti, where they could enjoy a variety of gaming activities without fear of prosecution.
As the gambling industry grew, mob money helped fuel its expansion. Mafia members invested heavily in Reno and Las Vegas, purchasing whole or partial ownership of casinos. However, the taint of crime and its seamy image made legitimate businessmen hesitant to get involved in the industry.
Modern casinos typically employ a large physical security force to patrol the premises and to respond to calls for assistance or reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity. They also have a specialized surveillance department that operates the casino’s closed circuit television system, known as the eye in the sky. The surveillance system can be adjusted to focus on particular suspicious patrons by security personnel working in a room full of banks of security monitors. In addition, each table game has its own pit boss and manager, who watch the game for signs of cheating.