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What Is a Casino?

What Is a Casino?


When most people think of casinos, they think of gambling halls where playing cards and dice are rolled for a chance to win. The term “casino” can also refer to an establishment where live entertainment is presented or provided. Successful casinos earn billions of dollars each year for the corporations, investors and Native American tribes that own them. They also create jobs and generate tax revenue for state and local governments.

There are more than 1,000 casinos around the world, from massive resorts in Las Vegas to tiny card rooms in remote cities. Casinos often are combined with hotels, restaurants and other tourist attractions to provide a complete vacation experience for their patrons.

From the first rumblings of human civilization, games of chance have been part of our heritage. The first evidence of gambling dates back to 2300 BC in China, and cards appeared in Rome about 500 AD. But it was the invention of slot machines in the 1920s that really revolutionized casino gambling, as it made it possible to play multiple games at once.

Slots are the most popular casino games, with players simply putting in money and pulling or pushing a lever or button. The machines display varying bands of colored shapes that roll on reels (actual physical ones or video representations) and, if the right combination is hit, the player wins a predetermined amount of money. Most casinos feature slots as well as tables for games such as baccarat, blackjack and roulette.