A Casino is an establishment where patrons gamble by playing games of chance or, in some cases, with a skill element. The most famous casinos in the world are located on the Las Vegas Strip and in Monaco, but they can be found around the globe. They range from high-class French establishments that require formal attire to modern glass-and-steel temples of overindulgence. While musical shows, lighted fountains and shopping centers help draw in the crowds, gambling accounts for the billions of dollars casinos rake in each year.
Although gambling probably predates recorded history (with primitive proto-dice and carved six-sided dice appearing in archaeological sites), the modern casino as a place for people to find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof did not emerge until the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe and Italian nobles would hold private parties at places called ridotti. These were technically illegal, but mobsters provided much of the cash and were not bothered by gambling’s seamy image.
The modern casino is a vast complex featuring multiple buildings with restaurants, bars, shops, spas and even museums and theaters. In some cases, the entire facility is themed with a particular city or region, such as Paris, the Venetian in Venice or the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Some casinos also offer a variety of entertainment, such as stage shows and sporting events on 60 large plasma TVs. Modern casinos rely on a combination of physical security and a specialized surveillance department that uses a system of cameras known as the eye-in-the-sky to monitor all aspects of the casino’s operations.