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What Is a Casino?


A casino is a building that houses games of chance, such as poker or blackjack. Some casinos also have restaurants, free drinks and stage shows. There have been less luxurious places that housed gambling activities, but casinos typically add a lot of extra luxuries to attract customers.

Because of the large amounts of money involved, casinos are particularly concerned with security. Casino patrons are often tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion with other patrons or independently; as a result, casinos spend a great deal of time and money on security. Casino security measures range from simple cameras to elaborate systems that allow surveillance personnel to watch every table, window and doorway simultaneously.

Gambling has been around for millennia. The precise origin of the game is unknown, but it is clear that in ancient Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome, people played games based on luck for money. Casinos were first developed in nineteenth century Europe, and by the early twentieth century they had become a major source of entertainment in cities like Monte Carlo and London.

While many people gamble for fun, the vast majority of casino patrons are serious gamblers who place bets with real money. In 2005 the average casino gambler was a forty-six-year old female from a household with above-average income. This demographic is typical of most gamblers in the United States; however, many other types of players are also present. These include younger individuals and the growing population of Native American gamblers, who are typically not part of the traditional demographic surveyed by Roper Reports GfK NOP or U.S. Gaming Panel.