The Casino – The Indoor Amusement Park For Adults


The modern casino is like an indoor amusement park for adults, with a significant amount of the entertainment (and profits for the owner) coming from gambling. Musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and elaborate themes help draw in the crowds, but casinos would not exist at all without games of chance like slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and baccarat. These games, and others with an element of skill, are responsible for the billions of dollars in profit raked in by U.S. casinos every year.

The casino as an organized place for patrons to gamble began in the 16th century during a gambling craze, when Italian aristocrats would hold private parties at places called ridotti [source: Schwartz]. Casinos, with their incredibly high profit margins and a reputation for being a fun and glamorous social environment, quickly became popular throughout Europe and the Americas.

Modern casinos feature a wide variety of gambling games, from the traditional table games such as blackjack and craps to newer machines like video poker. Despite their appearance, all of these games have one thing in common: the house always has a mathematically determined advantage over the players, which is also known as the expected value of the game.

To counter this, casinos employ a host of security measures. A physical security force patrols the building and responds to calls for assistance or reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity, while a specialized surveillance department operates a high-tech closed circuit television system, commonly referred to in the industry as “the eye in the sky”. The casinos are monitored at all times, and the cameras can be adjusted to focus on specific patrons at specific tables or in specific windows or doorways.