A Casino is a gambling establishment where people can play games of chance for money or other prizes. A modern casino is like an indoor amusement park for adults, with the vast majority of its entertainment (and profits for the owner) coming from gambling. Slot machines, black jack, roulette, craps, keno and baccarat provide the billions in profits raked in by casinos each year.
In addition to the various gaming tables and slot machines, a Casino usually has a restaurant, bar, and show room. It also has a high-tech surveillance system, often called an “eye in the sky,” that allows security personnel to watch every table and window.
Casinos take a variety of steps to keep gamblers happy, including free food and drinks, which can lead to intoxication and less concern about losing money. The use of chips instead of cash also helps, since players are not concerned that they might be seen with real money. Casinos also omit windows and clocks, which can help gamblers lose track of how much time they have spent on the floor.
Gambling probably predates recorded history, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice found in ancient archaeological sites. But the modern casino as a place to find a wide variety of ways to gamble under one roof did not emerge until the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe and Italian aristocrats created private clubs called ridotti for their privileged patrons. While some mobster-run casinos still exist, the advent of huge real estate investors and hotel chains with deep pockets bought out the mobsters and made them legitimate businesses, whose owners face fines or even loss of their licenses at any hint of mafia involvement.