History of Casinos and How They Make Their Money


A casino is a gambling establishment that offers players games of chance for money. While a casino’s glitzy fountain shows, lavish hotels and shopping centers help draw in the crowds, it is games like blackjack, roulette, poker and baccarat that provide the billions of dollars in profits casinos earn each year. In this article, we’ll take a look at the history of casinos, some of their most famous games and how they make their money.

Gambling has been around for millennia in one form or another. Archeological digs have turned up wooden blocks used for dice games in 2300 BC China, while Romans enjoyed playing a game called “baccarat” that was similar to modern poker. But it wasn’t until the late 19th century that legal gambling began to take off. In Nevada, the first commercial casinos opened, drawing in visitors from all over the world. Soon, other states adopted their own versions of gambling, with New Jersey and Atlantic City becoming the main destinations for casino visitors. Then, in the 1980s, Native American tribes started opening their own casinos on reservations outside of state jurisdiction, allowing for more options for casino-goers.

Casinos offer a variety of ways to keep gamblers happy, from free food and drink to attractive perks for big spenders. These “comps” or complimentary goods and services, can include anything from free hotel rooms and meals to show tickets and airline flights. In addition to rewarding high rollers, comps also attract people who might otherwise avoid the gambling area and help increase revenue for a casino.

To help prevent cheating and stealing, casinos have increased their use of technology to monitor and control the games. Chips that have built-in microcircuitry allow casinos to track how much money is wagered minute by minute, and automated systems can detect statistical deviations from expected results. Some casinos even have fully-automated versions of games, where players push buttons instead of dealing cards or spinning a wheel.

While some critics of gambling point out that casinos don’t necessarily bring jobs or economic benefits to the communities they serve, others note that people who are addicted to casino games can be a drain on local resources and economy. Problem gamblers can cause financial ruin for their families, resulting in bankruptcy and homelessness. They can also shift entertainment spending away from other forms of local entertainment, and cost the community in terms of lost productivity and the need for treatment of addiction.

There are more than 1,000 casinos worldwide, with the majority located in the United States. Several of them are famous for their glamour, including the Bellagio in Las Vegas, which has become synonymous with the idea of a luxurious gambling getaway. Other famous casinos are the Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monaco, the Casino Lisboa in Portugal and the Casino Baden-Baden in Germany. Whichever one you choose, be sure to read up on the rules and regulations before you go. Good luck!