Casino – A History Lesson

About Casino

Casinos provide a variety of ways for gamblers to play games of chance. They are more than just gambling establishments, however. They also offer food, drinks and entertainment and feature elaborate themes and dazzling architecture. The casinos earn billions in profits each year from the millions of people who visit them to place their bets.

Gambling almost certainly predates recorded history, with primitive protodice (cut knuckle bones) and carved six-sided dice turning up in the most ancient archaeological sites [Source: Schwartz]. The modern casino, as a place where patrons can find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof, developed in the 16th century during a European gambling craze. Wealthy Italian aristocrats often held private parties in gambling houses known as ridotti, which were basically small clubs where they could indulge in their favorite pastime. Although technically illegal, these private venues were rarely bothered by the authorities.

Modern casinos rely on mathematical expectancies to make money. Each game has a built in advantage for the house that can be very small (less than two percent). This edge, which is added to each bet and collected over time by the casino, earns the casinos their billions of dollars in profits.

The elegance that first made casinos popular among European royalty and aristocracy is still prevalent in the elegant spa town of Baden-Baden, Germany. Its glitzy red-and-gold poker rooms and plethora of blackjack and roulette tables attract visitors from around the world. Most casinos have elaborate comp programs that give patrons points that they can redeem for free or discounted meals, drinks and shows.