The Casino Is Much More Than Just A Place To Gamble


Whether you enjoy hitting the slots, putting on your best poker face or throwing dice at a craps table, casinos are the perfect place to scratch that gambling itch. However, a casino is much more than just an establishment with immersive gambling entertainment.

While gambling likely predates recorded history, the modern casino was born in Europe during the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept the continent and noblemen created gaming clubs called ridotti to indulge their vices. These were technically illegal, but gamblers weren’t bothered by legal authorities as long as they paid a high stakes membership fee and followed the rules of the club.

Gambling isn’t without its problems, and studies have shown that compulsive gambling drains a community’s wealth by diverting spending from other local forms of entertainment and harming property values. Furthermore, the money spent treating problem gamblers and the loss of productivity due to lost time gambling often offsets any economic gains a casino may generate.

Each game in a casino has a built-in mathematical advantage for the house, but this edge can be small, less than two percent. To entice big bettors, some casinos reduce their advantage to as low as 1 percent for games like roulette or craps, while others offer big bettors special inducements, such as free spectacular entertainment, luxury transportation and elegant living quarters. Slot machines and video poker are the economic mainstays of many American casinos, with the vast majority of their income derived from high volume, fast play at sums ranging from five cents to a dollar.