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What Is a Casino?

What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment that houses many different games of chance and often offers food, drinks and entertainment to its patrons. The precise history of casinos is unknown, but they appear to have existed in some form as early as the 16th century, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice being found at many ancient archaeological sites [Source: Schwartz]. The modern casino began to emerge during the gambling craze of the late 18th and 19th centuries, when Europeans flocked to Monte Carlo and other places to gamble.

While some of today’s most famous casinos are glitzy, Las Vegas-style palaces, others are more modest. Some are built in historic buildings, like the one at Monte-Carlo, designed by Charles Garnier and built in 1863. Casinos can also be found in cruise ships, on land at racetracks as racinos, and even at some bars and grocery stores, which have added casino-type games to attract customers.

Gambling has always been a popular pastime in some parts of the world. Casinos bring in billions of dollars each year for their owners, investors, employees and the people who gamble there. Casinos are a source of revenue for governments, and provide employment and other benefits to local communities.

While some people who gamble in casinos are problem gamblers, most are not. Most are people over the age of forty, with above-average incomes. The typical casino gambler is a woman. Gambling can be addictive, and it can hurt family life and property values in some areas. Many gamblers also suffer from a variety of health problems, including substance abuse and mental illness.