A casino is an establishment for gambling and some also offer entertainment, such as shows or dining. Many casinos are located near hotels and resorts, retail shops, and other tourist attractions.
The word casino derives from the Latin cazino, which means “house of games.” The first modern casinos grew out of gaming halls. These rooms, originally called saloons, offered customers drinks and a place to play dice and poker. Modern casinos are highly regulated and offer multiple gambling options. Most of the world’s casinos are located in Las Vegas, Nevada, although many others exist around the world.
Initially, casinos were owned by organized crime families and the mob. However, real estate investors and hotel chains with deep pockets realized the potential of casino revenue. These business owners bought out the mob and began to operate casinos independently of gangster control. Today, casino owners are generally choosy about their clientele and invest heavily in high-tech systems to monitor customer behavior. For example, chips with built-in microcircuitry are used to track the amount of money wagered minute by minute so that managers can alert players and other employees to any statistical deviation from expectations.
In addition, casino employees can monitor gamblers’ play and give them complimentary items (complimentary goods or services) based on their amount of time spent gambling and the amount of money they wager. In general, these people are referred to as “good players,” and they can receive comps such as free hotel stays, meals, show tickets, limo service, and airline tickets. This helps the casino to attract more and more gamblers, thus increasing their revenues.