Casino, as you may already know, is an entertainment center that has games of chance. While musical shows, lighted fountains, lavish hotels and elaborate themes help to draw people in, the vast majority of casinos’ profits come from gambling. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and keno are just a few of the games that bring in billions of dollars every year.

Gambling may have existed since the earliest times, with primitive protodice and even carved six-sided dice being found in ancient archaeological sites. But the idea of a single establishment where visitors could find a variety of different ways to gamble under one roof did not emerge until the 16th century when a gambling craze swept Europe. Aristocrats would hold private parties at places called ridotti, and although gambling was technically illegal, the authorities seldom bothered the wealthy patrons.

As casinos have become more sophisticated, they have developed a wide array of security measures. In addition to the traditional physical security force, they often employ specialized surveillance departments that keep a close eye on activities on and around the gaming floor. In many modern casinos, surveillance is accomplished through cameras and computer monitoring systems. These technologically advanced methods allow casinos to oversee betting chips with microcircuitry, monitor roulette wheels to discover statistical deviations from expected results, and supervise other games via video cameras mounted in the ceiling or on catwalks.

There are now hundreds of casinos worldwide, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Some are tiny, tucked into shopping centers or hotel rooms, while others are the size of small cities and sprawl across acres of land. Whatever the style, they all offer a unique experience for their guests.