A casino is a place where people can gamble and play games of chance. It’s not a particularly glamorous concept, but it’s common enough that your grandmother might enjoy taking weekend bus trips to her local casino with friends. Unlike your grandmother’s local saloon, which was more of a bar than a gambling hall, the modern casino has many more luxuries to draw in gamblers, such as restaurants, free drinks and stage shows.
Because large sums of money are handled within casinos, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal. This is why casinos spend a lot of time and money on security. Casinos have cameras that watch every window, doorway and table. These can be shifted to focus on suspicious patrons by security workers in a separate room filled with banks of monitors. Casinos also use a variety of electronic systems to keep tabs on the money: betting chips have built-in microcircuitry that can track their movements minute by minute, and roulette wheels are electronically monitored for statistical deviation from expected results.
Casinos have been around for quite a long time, but the idea of the modern casino took hold in the 16th century when a gambling craze swept Europe. Italian aristocrats gathered in private clubs called ridotti, where they could find all of their favorite gambling games under one roof. This gave rise to the word casino, which itself probably stems from the Latin for “house.”