A Casino is a place where people can gamble and play games of chance. It may be combined with hotels, restaurants and other tourist attractions. Some casinos are specialized in particular gambling activities, such as baccarat and poker. Others are more general and offer a wide variety of gambling activities, including roulette and slot machines. Casinos are usually open to the public and offer free or reduced-fare transportation, hotel rooms and meals. Comps are also given to frequent players, depending on the amount they spend and the level of play they exhibit.
The casino concept originated in Nevada, but has spread to many states and even abroad. Gambling probably predates recorded history, with primitive protodice (cut knuckle bones) and carved six-sided dice found in archeological sites. However, the modern casino as a gathering place for various types of gambling began in the 16th century during a craze in Italy. Rich nobles would host private parties in places called ridotti, where they could try their luck at gaming.
Modern casinos use sophisticated technology to maintain a high standard of honesty and fairness. For example, “chip tracking” enables a casino to watch exactly how much is being wagered on each game, minute by minute; and roulette wheels are electronically monitored to quickly discover any statistical deviation from expected results.
In 2005, Harrah’s Entertainment reports that the average casino gambler was a forty-six-year-old female from a household with above-average income. It is important to note that this group was not necessarily addicted to gambling, but rather used it as a form of entertainment. Moreover, they were more likely to play electronic casino games than their male counterparts.