What is a ‘Casino’?
A casino is a business establishment that is equipped with various gambling devices and other games of chance that can be played for money.
Aside from accommodating gambling and other gaming activities, a casino incorporates other entertainment elements as a service to their guests. This includes live concerts and other forms of live entertainment, as well as sporting events. Other services include hotel rooms, restaurants, shopping, and nightclubs.
You can find casinos in one form or another throughout the world, including online. Online casinos have become extremely popular because they enable players the ability to gamble on casino games from the comfort of their own homes using their desktop and laptop computers, as well as from their mobile handheld devices.
Although the precise origin of gambling is unknown, it is known to be practiced as a form of entertainment in almost every society in history, from Ancient Greece, Rome, France, and England. There are several historical records documenting stories where entertainment included games of chance.
The Ridotto is the first known casino in Europe, established in 1638, and located in Venice, Italy. It offered controlled gambling during the carnival, and was closed in 1770 because the Italian government felt that it brought the locals to ruin.
Saloons were early gambling establishments in American history, especially those in New Orleans, St. Louis, Chicago, and San Francisco. Travelers knew they could find drinking and gambling in a saloon. Gambling became outlawed in America during the early 20th century, however in 1931 gambling was legalized in the state of Nevada, where the first legalized casinos in America originated.
The minimum gambling age in most jurisdictions where casino operations are permitted is anywhere from 16 to 21 years old.
Most of the games played in a casino are games of chance mathematically determined to give the casino the advantage over the players. There are some casino games that require an element of skill, like craps or blackjack. In poker games, where players compete against each other, the casino takes a commission, known as the rake.
Casinos are designed and built with elements which encourage guests to gamble for longer, spend more money and keep returning. The design of land-based casinos today is not just for visual appeal, but involves a floor plan and atmosphere that encourages people to gamble. This includes scientific factors that are known to influence gambling tendencies, such as sounds, lighting, and scents.
One of the largest casinos in the world, and an example of a casino which has been designed to cater to guests every need, is the Venetian Macau in China. This luxury casino covers 550,000 square feet of gaming space and the resort is is 39 stories high, with over 50 restaurants, a custom-built theatre for Cirque du Soleil shows, more than 4,000 gambling machines and tables, and a 15,000-seat indoor arena caters for huge music, sport, and television events. For important guests, the VIP club offers private butlers, rooms and dining options.
This is a factor that does not exist in online casinos, where you can gamble in the comfort of your own home, or play on the go using your mobile device. However, online casinos are known to cater to players that remain active, offering VIP loyalty bonuses and other amenities to active players. Online casino also run promotions to attract new players to join and play.