What is a Casino?
Casino is a special establishment where gamblers can play a variety of games of chance and spend money gambling, dining and drinking. A casino can also offer stage shows and other attractions to entice gamblers. The vast majority of casinos’ profits come from the billions in gambling revenue they bring in each year.
Gambling has likely existed since recorded history began, with primitive protodice (cut knuckle bones) and carved six-sided dice found in ancient archaeological sites [Source: Schwartz]. However, the modern casino as an institution offering various ways to gamble under one roof did not develop until the 16th century. At that time, a gambling craze was sweeping Europe, and Italian aristocrats would gather for parties at places called ridotti where they could legally enjoy themselves with their peers.
In the 1950s, mobsters began to invest in Reno and Las Vegas casinos. With the mob’s large bankrolls, they were able to hire people and provide security for the casino floors. Legitimate businessmen were reluctant to get involved in the tainted world of gambling, but mobsters knew how much money they could make by exploiting it.
As the casino industry grew in popularity, they started to appear on Indian reservations outside of Nevada, and in states that had antigambling laws. Nowadays, there are thousands of casino locations worldwide. Casinos are mostly operated by major hotel and casino chains, but there are many independent casinos as well. Some are small, local places that cater to a specific ethnic or regional population, while others are huge entertainment complexes like the Bellagio in Las Vegas.