The Casino is a gambling establishment that offers patrons the opportunity to win money by playing games of chance. Casinos earn the majority of their profits from slot machines, which are mechanical devices that allow players to select varying bands of colored shapes that roll on a set of reels (physically or electronically). Modern casino slots also use computer chips to determine the outcome of each spin and payout amounts.
The modern casino has become a major tourist attraction, and there are numerous locations worldwide. The United States is home to the most prominent casinos, with Nevada and New Jersey being especially well known for their numerous gambling resorts. Casinos typically offer free spectacle entertainment and other amenities, such as food and drinks, in addition to gambling opportunities.
Gambling almost certainly predates written history, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice appearing in archaeological sites [Source: Schwartz]. But the concept of a casino as a place to find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof didn’t develop until the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe and Italian aristocrats gathered in private gaming rooms called ridotti to play.
By the 1960s, organized crime figures had accumulated so much cash from drug dealing, extortion and other illegal activities that they had no problem investing it in casinos. They became involved in the running of these enterprises, taking sole or partial ownership of some and providing bankrolls for others. But with mob involvement came scrutiny from government agencies and the risk of losing a gambling license, which forced legitimate businessmen to step in. Hotel chains, real estate investors and other companies with deep pockets saw an opportunity to expand the industry and build a more respectable image.