What is a Casino?
A casino is a public place where people can gamble. While restaurants, music shows and lighted fountains may add to the experience, casinos would not exist without games of chance like blackjack, roulette, craps and keno. These games are what bring in the billions of dollars in profits to casinos each year.
Gambling in some form predates recorded history, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice found at the oldest archaeological sites. However, the modern casino as a place to find multiple ways to gamble under one roof did not emerge until the 16th century in Europe. The idea spread from Italy, where aristocrats gathered in ridotti to socialize and gamble away their wealth. These gambits were often illegal, but aristocrats did not mind because the casino as a place to gamble was more lucrative than other entertainment options.
While the mob had a stronghold on the casino industry for decades, real estate investors and hotel chains with deeper pockets bought out many of the old guard. As a result, there are now many legitimate casinos with fewer mafia ties. The threat of losing a casino license at even the smallest hint of mob involvement keeps gangsters out of the gambling business and allows legitimate owners to operate casinos free from mob interference.
In addition to traditional table games, most casinos also offer Far Eastern games such as sic bo, fan-tan and pai-gow. Many of these casinos also offer live dealer gaming.