What is a Casino?
A casino (or gambling house) is a building or room where various forms of gambling activities are carried out. Historically, casinos have been places where people could try their luck at games of chance and meet up with friends to socialize and enjoy entertainment. Today, casino facilities are often combined with hotels and restaurants or other entertainment venues. In addition, some casinos are also known for providing live entertainment, such as concerts or stand-up comedy.
While the exact origin of gambling is uncertain, it is clear that casinos evolved from ancient societies, as there are records of games being played in public for entertainment purposes in many cultures. Modern casinos add a wide variety of luxuries to appeal to players and make the experience more enjoyable. These extras include free drinks, food, stage shows and dramatic scenery. Despite the popularity of these luxuries, casino patrons can become addicted to gambling and some studies indicate that the net economic benefit for local communities may actually be negative [Source: PBS]. This is due to the cost of treating compulsive gamblers and the loss in productivity that comes with their addiction.
The casino industry is regulated in most jurisdictions. To protect the interests of players and employees, casinos usually employ a security force that patrols the premises and a specialized department that oversees the operation of a closed circuit television system (CCTV) that monitors the entire casino floor. Both of these departments work together to prevent cheating, robbery, and other criminal activity.