The Casino – The Gambling Craze
Whether it’s hitting the slots, throwing dice on a craps table or playing poker, casino gambling is a great way to satisfy that itch for winning big. While a casino’s musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and elaborate themes draw in the crowds, most of the profits come from games that are pure or mostly pure chance. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, baccarat and other casino card games provide the billions in gross profits that casinos make each year.
Something about the presence of large amounts of money seems to encourage cheating, stealing and other forms of unethical behavior. Thus, casinos spend a significant amount of time, money and effort on security measures. Casinos use technology for many security purposes, such as video surveillance to monitor game play; “chip tracking” systems that record exactly how much is wagered minute-by-minute; and electronic monitoring of roulette wheels and dice to discover any statistical deviations.
The casino concept probably originated in Italy in the 16th century, with a gambling craze sweeping Europe at the time. It may have been inspired by the Ridotti, which were private social clubs that Italian aristocrats used to hold parties in. The idea soon spread to the United States, where the first land-based casinos were developed in the 1890s. The first American casinos offered a variety of games, including roulette and craps. Many American casinos also featured stage shows and fine dining to attract people from all walks of life, making them a one-of-a-kind place for fun.