Casinos offer a range of games and entertainment, from live shows to sports betting. They often operate alongside hotels, resorts and restaurants.
Biggest Casinos in the World
Several of the world’s largest casinos are located in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, Nevada. Others are spread throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and South America.
The origin of casinos dates back to the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe. During that time, Italian aristocrats often held private parties in places called ridotti [Source: Schwartz].
These were generally small clubs, but the popularity of gambling caused them to expand into larger rooms and later even entire buildings. They tended to be open only to members, though they were usually not bothered by legal authorities.
Security is a major concern for casinos, especially given that there is so much currency involved. Dealers, pit bosses and table managers are constantly looking for suspicious patterns that could indicate cheating or stealing.
Video surveillance cameras watch every table, window and doorway. They can be adjusted to focus on certain suspicious patrons by security workers in a separate room filled with banks of security monitors.
Most casinos also have frequent-flyer-style programs that reward customers for playing and spending. Using computer systems, these programs track players’ use of the casino and their spending habits, and can earn them discounts, free slot play or coupons for free meals, drinks, shows and more.
Roulette, baccarat and blackjack are the most popular table games. Other popular games include sic bo (in Asian casinos) and fan-tan.