A casino is a place where people can gamble on games of chance. These casinos can feature a variety of gambling options such as slots, blackjack, poker, roulette, craps and baccarat. In addition to offering a wide range of casino games, they can also host concerts and other entertainment events. They are a popular destination for tourists and holidaymakers looking to try their luck at the tables.
While something about gambling (probably the presence of large amounts of money) seems to encourage both patrons and staff to cheat or steal, most casinos have security measures in place to prevent this from happening. The most obvious of these is a series of cameras throughout the property to monitor all activities. However, security also relies on a number of other methods. Dealers are heavily trained and can often spot blatant cheating like palming or marking cards. Pit bosses and table managers watch over table games with a wider perspective, checking betting patterns for suspicious behavior.
While casino gambling may seem like a modern idea, it actually has a rich history. Gambling existed long before the first casinos opened, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice found in archeological sites [source: Schwartz]. The modern casino as an entertainment venue with a wide range of gambling options under one roof did not develop until the 16th century, when a gaming craze swept Europe. Italian aristocrats would hold private parties in places known as ridotti, where they could play a variety of games without being bothered by authorities.