A casino, also known as a gambling house or a gaming room, is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Casinos are often combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, and other tourist attractions. They are also found on cruise ships and in some military installations. The word is derived from the Latin casin
Gambling almost certainly predates recorded history, with primitive protodice (cut knuckle bones) and even carved six-sided dice turning up at ancient archaeological sites [Source: Schwartz]. But the casino as an institution that allows gamblers to find a variety of ways to wager under one roof didn’t develop until the 16th century. That’s when a gambling craze swept Europe, and Italian aristocrats began holding private parties in venues called ridotti [Source: Schwartz].
Casinos offer a wide range of games. Some are more popular than others. The most famous of all is probably blackjack, which has become a staple for casinos everywhere. But there are a number of other popular options, including poker, craps, roulette, and baccarat.
Besides the many gambling games, most casinos offer comps (free goods or services) to their big spenders. These perks can include free hotel rooms, meals, shows, and even airline tickets or limo service. Ask a casino employee or someone at the information desk how to get your play rated.
In addition to their games, most casinos enforce security measures through rules of conduct and behavior. For example, players at card tables must keep their cards visible at all times. Elaborate surveillance systems often feature a high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” that can watch every table, window, and doorway.