A casino is a place where people can gamble and play games of chance. Your grandmother might take weekend bus trips to the nearest casino with friends to try her luck on the slots or poker tables. Some casinos have even become so massive that they have hotels, restaurants, nongambling games, pools, spas and gardens.
Casinos are designed around noise, light and excitement. Their decor, especially in the form of bright, sometimes gaudy floor and wall coverings, is meant to stimulate and cheer players. Casinos are also famous for promoting their gambling through a variety of perks, including free food and drinks and comps (complimentary items).
While the precise origins of casino gambling are unclear, it is generally believed that the social element of casino gambling makes it different from other forms of entertainment that are not directly related to gambling, such as sports or movies. In addition, the large amount of money involved in casino gambling makes it tempting to cheat or steal. As a result, casinos spend considerable time and money on security.
Throughout the 1990s, many casinos expanded their use of technology to supervise their gambling operations. For example, some casinos have specialized in “chip tracking,” which allows them to monitor the exact amounts wagered on each game minute by minute. Casinos also routinely monitor roulette wheels and blackjack tables electronically to discover any statistical deviation from expected results. In some cases, these technologies enable them to detect cheating or collusion between casino employees and patrons.