A casino is a gambling hall where people play games of chance. Some are skill based, but most require a degree of luck. Regardless, they provide billions of dollars in profits for casinos each year. The word casino is thought to have been derived from the Latin cazino, meaning “devil’s box.”
Modern casinos are like indoor amusement parks for adults. They feature restaurants, shopping centers and stage shows, but most of the money is made from gambling. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette and craps bring in the most income.
In the United States alone, over 51 million people visited a casino in 2002. Many more gamble on the internet.
Gambling has been popular throughout history, even in societies with no legal framework for it. From Ancient Mesopotamia to Napoleon’s France to Elizabethan England, people have been drawn to games of chance for their excitement and the opportunity to win big.
Casinos have long been a favorite entertainment destination, with architecture ranging from the grand to the whimsical. From the elegant, nineteenth-century Monte-Carlo casino (designed by a princess and financed by a future pope), to the Las Vegas Strip’s flamboyant hotel-casinos with soaring red chandeliers and floor to ceiling windows, casinos have evolved in response to customers’ desires.
Security is another area where casino designers try to meet customer demands. Despite being designed for fun, casinos are still serious businesses and must protect the assets of their patrons. Casinos use everything from surveillance cameras to high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” systems to keep an eye on players and prevent theft.