Whether the games offered are blackjack, roulette, poker or slot machines, casino’s make billions in profits each year. They might also offer other entertainment and luxuries like gourmet restaurants, stage shows and shopping malls. But no matter the luxuries, casinos wouldn’t exist without games of chance.
Gambling in one form or another almost certainly predates recorded history, with primitive protodice and carved knuckle bones found at many archaeological sites. But the modern casino with all its trappings didn’t develop until the 16th century as a result of a gambling craze sweeping Europe. It grew out of aristocratic clubhouses called Ridotto where members could gather for social occasions and play various forms of gambling.
Today’s modern casino is often part of a resort or hotel complex and has high security measures to keep out thieves and cheaters. Besides the obvious security cameras, some casinos have catwalks in the ceiling above the casino floor that allow surveillance personnel to look directly down on the tables and slot machines through one way glass. Some even have a “eye-in-the-sky” system that can be controlled by surveillance personnel from a separate room filled with banks of monitors.
The most popular gambling activities in casinos are slot machines and table games. Casino employees must be vigilant to prevent patrons and themselves from committing fraud or other crimes such as stealing chips from each other. In addition, table managers and pit bosses must watch for blatant signs of cheating, such as palming cards or marking dice. Casinos may also require players to keep their hands visible at all times and have rules against revealing information about their winnings or losing streaks.