The Casino – The Place For Gambling Enthusiasts

The modern casino is a multi-purpose entertainment complex, but its primary source of entertainment (and profits for its owners) is gambling. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, keno and more are the games that draw the crowds and bring in the billions in annual revenues.

Although gambling probably predates written history, the casino as a place to find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof did not appear until the 16th century. At that time, Venice was at the center of a gambling craze that led to the development of the Ridotto, the first government-sanctioned casino and the first to be open to the public. Ridotto patrons played primitive card games in rooms separate from the main gaming floor and enjoyed a selection of foods and drinks.

During the 1990s casinos dramatically increased their use of technology. Video cameras monitor general casino activity and some table games, while computers monitor the games themselves. For example, a system known as “chip tracking” allows casino operators to watch the exact amount of money wagered minute-by-minute and spot any deviations from expected results; and roulette wheels are electronically monitored for any statistical anomalies.

The typical casino patron is a middle-aged woman with a household income above the national average. Her children are mostly grown, so she has more leisure time and discretionary spending money than the average family. In addition to the money they bet, most casino gamblers also get free food, drink and shows. These perks are called comps. They are based on the theory that frequent gamblers will spend more than their initial bets and, therefore, contribute to the casino’s profit.