2 A physical establishment in which various games of chance are conducted. Many casinos are also resort hotels, such as those in Monte Carlo, Las Vegas, and Atlantic City. Due to gaming regulations in some states, casinos are sometimes built as riverboats on bodies of water (most of these casinos are actually stationary barges in artificial lakes that are connected to rivers). In 1998, U.S. casinos had $24.3 billion in revenue. Since the late 1980s casinos have been built on many Indian reservations (see under gambling). The world's largest casino is the Foxwoods Resort Casino (Ledyard, Conn.), owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Nation. Opened in 1998, the casino has 6,000 slot machines and 350 gaming tables, plus hotels, restaurants, and retail shops. Other reservation casinos include the Shakopee Mdewakanton Dakota's Mystic Lake Casino (Prior Lake, Minn.), the Mohegan Sun casino (Uncasville, Conn.), the Oneida Nation's Turning Stone (Verona, N.Y.), and the many Pueblo-run casinos in New Mexico. Revenues from Indian-run casinos represented two fifths of all U.S. casino revenues by 2004.
Building or room used for gambling. The term originally referred to a public hall for music and dancing, but by the late 19th century it had come to denote a gaming house, particularly one in which card and dice games were played. Today casinos are places where gamblers can risk their money against a common gambler (called the banker or house), and they have an almost uniform character throughout the world. One of the oldest and best-known casinos is that at Monte Carlo (Monaco), founded in 1861. Others include those at Cannes and Nice (France), Corfu (Greece), Baden-Baden (Germany), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), and Las Vegas and Reno (Nevada, U.S.). Casinos in Havana (Cuba) were confiscated by the Castro government after the 1959 revolution, spelling the end of a flourishing gambling scene that rivaled Las Vegas. Nevada has long had casino gambling, but other U.S. states prohibited it; that ban was ended when a casino opened in Atlantic City, N.J., in 1978. From the 1980s casinos began appearing on American Indian reservations, which are not subject to state antigambling statutes, and casino gambling expanded vastly in the U.S. as gambling became legal in more states, particularly as a riverboat operation. In the late 1990s Internet gambling sites permitted players to play casino games such as roulette and blackjack. These virtual casinos usually offered the option of playing against other players or only against the house.
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A casino is, in the modern sense of the word, a facility that houses and accommodates certain types of gambling activities. Casinos are most commonly built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships and other tourist attractions. Some casinos are known for hosting live entertainment events, such as stand-up comedy, concerts, and sporting events.
The term "Casino" originally meant a small villa, summerhouse or pavilion built for pleasure, usually on the grounds of a larger Italian villa or palazzo. There are examples of such casinos at Villa Giulia and Villa Farnese. In modern day Italian, this term designates a bordello (also called "casa chiusa", literally "closed house"), while the gambling house is spelled casinò with an accent.
One of the first known casinos was established in Venice around 1638. During the 19th century, the term "casino" came to include other public buildings where pleasurable activities, including gambling, and sports took place. An example of this type of building is the Newport Casino in Newport, Rhode Island.
Not all casinos were used for gaming. The Copenhagen Casino was a theatre, known for the use made of its hall for mass public meetings during the 1848 Revolution which made Denmark a constitutional monarchy. Until 1937 it was a well-known Danish theatre. The Hanko Casino located in Hanko, Finland - one of that town's most conspicuous landmarks - was never used for gambling. Rather, it was a banquet hall for the Russian nobility which frequented this spa resort in the late 1800s, and is presently used as a restaurant.
The precise origin of gambling is unknown. The Chinese recorded the first official account of the practice in 2300 B.C., but it is generally believed that activity of gambling, in some way or another, has been seen in almost every society in history. From the Ancient Greeks and Romans to Napoleon's France and Elizabethan England, much of history is filled with stories of entertainment based on the games of chance.
In American history, early casinos were originally known as saloons. The creation and importance of saloons was greatly influenced by four major cities; New Orleans, St. Louis, Chicago and San Francisco. It was in the saloons that travelers could find people to talk to, drink with, and often gamble with. During the early 20th century in America, gambling became outlawed and banned by state legislation and social reformers of the time. However, in 1931, gambling was legalized throughout the state of Nevada, and Las Vegas, presently known as "Sin City", spawned America's first official casinos. Soon after, in the state of New Jersey, Atlantic City joined the Casino industry in 1978 to become America's second largest gambling city.
In most jurisdictions worldwide, gambling is limited to persons over the age of license (18 or 21 years of age in most of the United States and 16 to 21 in most other countries where casinos are permitted).
Customers gamble by playing slot machines or other games of chance (e.g., craps, roulette, baccarat) and some skill (e.g., blackjack, poker) (for more see casino games). Games usually have mathematically-determined odds that ensure the house has at all times an advantage over the players. This can be expressed more precisely by the notion of expected value, which is uniformly negative (from the player's perspective). This advantage is called the house edge. In games such as poker where players play against each other, the house takes a commission called the rake. Casinos often give out free items, known as comps to people who are gambling. Often, in most casinos, the more money a player uses the more benefits or comps the player get.
Payout is the percentage won by players.
Playing with house money refers to the situation where a winning player is placing bets with money that has been won from the casino.
Casinos focus greatly on security, considering that this is a 30 billion dollar industry. Large amounts of currency move through a casino, tempting people to cheat the system. Security today consists of cameras located throughout the property operated by highly trained individuals who attempt to locate cheating and stealing by both players and employees.
Modern casino security is usually divided between a physical security force, which patrols the casino floor and responds to calls for assistance and reports of criminal and/or suspicious activities, and a specialized surveillance department, that operates the casino's closed circuit television (known in the industry as eye in the sky) system in an effort to detect any misconduct by both guests and employees alike. Both of these specialized casino security departments work very closely with each other to ensure the safety of both guests and the casino's assets.