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What Is a Casino?

Casino is a popular establishment where gamblers can play a variety of games of chance and win money. In addition to the standard gambling options, casinos often offer more exotic games like baccarat and craps. Besides, many casinos also have restaurants and entertainment options for their guests. Moreover, some casinos offer generous bonuses and free drinks to attract new customers.

Gambling probably predates recorded history, with primitive protodice (cut knuckle bones) and six-sided dice found in archaeological sites. However, the modern casino as a place for people to find a wide variety of ways to gamble under one roof did not emerge until the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe and wealthy Italian aristocrats gathered in places called ridotti to wager on horse races and other events.

Given the large amounts of currency that are handled within a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal. To prevent this, casinos employ a number of security measures. These include video cameras and electronic systems that monitor the exact amount of money wagered minute-by-minute to detect any abnormalities.

In the early years of casino development, organized crime mobster money was the main source of capital to finance the buildings and equipment. As the industry grew, legitimate businessmen with deeper pockets bought out the mafia and ended its control of the operations. Today, a host of federal and state laws ensures that casinos operate with no mob interference.