What Is a Casino?
A casino is an establishment for gambling. These are often combined with restaurants, hotels, retail shopping and cruise ships. They may also host live entertainment, such as stand-up comedy and concerts. Some casinos specialize in certain types of games, such as poker or black jack. The exact origin of gambling is unknown, but it is widely believed that it predates recorded history. Evidence of early gambling include primitive protodice (cut knuckle bones) and carved six-sided dice found in ancient archaeological sites. The modern casino began to develop in the 16th century, as a result of a gambling craze among European aristocrats. In the early days, these games were played in private clubs called ridotti. [Source: Schwartz]
Gambling in a casino has many security measures in place to prevent cheating and stealing, both by patrons and staff. Several of these involve the use of technology to monitor activities and detect anomalies. For example, some betting chips have built-in microcircuitry that enables them to be monitored minute by minute, and the rotation of roulette wheels is electronically supervised to detect any deviation from normal expected results.
There are more than 3,000 casino-related businesses in the United States. The highest concentration is in the Las Vegas valley, but many other cities have casinos as well. Casinos are also found on American Indian reservations, which are exempt from state antigambling laws. Because of their large amount of cash and other valuables, casinos are prone to theft by both employees and patrons. To counter this, security personnel frequently patrol the floors and watch over tables, observing patterns that can indicate cheating or other irregularities.