What Makes a Casino Special?
A casino is a place where people can gamble. It might have stage shows, a restaurant and elaborate scenery but it would be nothing without the gambling games that bring in billions of dollars in profits each year. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and keno are just a few of the games that earn casinos their name.
While the concept of a gambling establishment dates back to primitive astragali (cut knuckle bones) and carved six-sided dice, the modern casino emerged only in the 16th century when a gambling craze swept Europe and the elites created private clubs called ridotti where they could play their favorite games.
Although the game of choice varies, most casinos offer some variation of the following games:
Craps is the main attraction in French casinos while poker and blackjack are popular in American casinos. In the twenty-first century casinos are concentrating their investment on high rollers. These are patrons who wager tens of thousands of dollars in one visit and who, from the casino’s perspective, are “good” customers. To encourage these high rollers, casinos often give them free or reduced-fare transportation and luxury living quarters.
Casinos also make a great deal of money from slots and video poker. These machines, in contrast to table games, don’t require a dealer. Instead they use a computer to keep track of the players’ bets and payouts. However, the erratic behavior of these machines can lead to a gambling addiction and the problem has been exacerbated by the availability of internet-based casino sites that have not been subject to state regulations.