A Casino is a place where people play games of chance. Modern casinos have a lot more than that, including restaurants and free drinks, stage shows and dramatic scenery, but it is the gambling that earns them billions of dollars in profits every year.
Gambling has been around since the dawn of recorded history, with primitive protodice (cut knuckle bones) and carved six-sided dice found in some of the world’s oldest archaeological sites [Source: Schwartz]. But the idea of the casino as an all-in-one gambling destination was not developed until the 16th century when a craze for all kinds of games of chance swept Europe. Originally, Italian aristocrats would hold private parties in rooms known as ridotti to entertain their friends and family with a variety of gambling activities. While gambling was technically illegal, the Italians were so wealthy that the government rarely bothered them.
Modern casino security starts on the floor, where workers watch over the games and players to make sure everything is going according to plan. Dealers are heavily focused on their own game and can quickly spot blatant cheating such as palming or marking cards, while pit bosses and table managers keep an eye out for betting patterns that might indicate a change in expected results. Casinos also use technology to help oversee their games. Slot machines are wired to central servers that monitor their activity minute by minute, revealing any statistical deviations.
Casinos also reward their best patrons with free hotel rooms, meals, tickets to shows and even limo service and airline tickets. This is called comping and is an important part of a casino’s marketing strategy to get people in the door.