What is a Casino?


Casino is an establishment that offers a variety of games of chance, along with food and drinks. These facilities are also known as gambling houses or gaming centers, and are legal in many countries around the world.

History and Culture

Gambling almost certainly predates recorded history, with primitive protodice found in archaeological sites [Source: Schwartz]. During a gambling craze in the 16th century, Italian aristocrats would hold private parties in places known as ridotti.

The Ridotto was a four-story gambling house with rooms for primitive card games, along with a selection of food and beverages to keep the gamblers happy. It was a popular pastime for Italian nobility and rarely resulted in any problems with the authorities.

In modern times, casinos are usually located in major cities and tourist destinations. They offer a wide variety of table games, such as roulette and craps. They also feature slot machines and (from the 1980s) video poker.

The advantage a casino has over a player is called the house edge, and can range from two percent to less than one percent. This allows the casino to make enough money to build elaborate hotels, fountains, towers and replicas of famous landmarks.