Whether you hit the slots, lay it all down on the roulette wheel, put your best poker face forward or throw dice at the craps table, a casino can satisfy your urge to gamble. But there’s more to the modern casino than just gambling—there are great restaurants, delicious drinks and other fun ways to spend your time. If you’re looking for a full-service casino experience, consider visiting one of these top-notch resorts.
While casinos have long been known as places to gamble, the name is a bit misleading. Casinos aren’t just about betting on games of chance; they also offer a wide variety of other entertainment options, including shows, sports and even a place to get married. In many cases, the casinos are part of larger hotel and entertainment complexes.
The precise origins of casino are unknown, but they’ve existed in some form or another since ancient times. In fact, there are records of gambling in Rome and Elizabethan England. During the 19th century, the development of railways made it easier to reach major cities, where large casinos could open.
Most casinos specialize in a certain type of gambling, such as slot machines or tables. Some are themed after famous cities or landmarks, like the Bellagio in Las Vegas or the Casino de Madrid in Spain. Others try to create a unique atmosphere with their design, such as the Casino at Caesars Palace in Nevada.
Some states have anti-gambling laws, but many have legalized casinos in various forms. In addition to the Atlantic City and Vegas properties, there are a number of riverboat casinos, Indian reservations and even a few in Puerto Rico. During the 1980s, many American states amended their anti-gambling laws to allow for casinos.
Casinos spend a lot of money on security. Staffers monitor patrons closely to make sure no one is cheating or stealing. Table managers and pit bosses have a wider view of the game, keeping an eye out for crooked dealers and betting patterns that might signal cheating. Elaborate surveillance systems give the staff a high-tech “eye in the sky,” with cameras positioned to watch every table, window and doorway.
Casinos also reward regular customers with free goods and services. These are called comps, and they can include everything from free hotel rooms to meals and tickets to shows. To qualify for comps, players must meet minimum spending requirements, usually based on the amount of money they’ve lost during their stay. Those who spend the most get the most perks, which can include limo service and airline tickets. In areas with large casino industries, local dealing schools and community colleges offer short-term vocational programs that teach the mechanics of various casino games as well as hospitality industry skills. In smaller cities, there are often “break-in” houses where new dealers can practice their skills with experienced mentors. In some states, a high school diploma or GED is the only education required to become a dealer.