A casino is a place where a variety of games of chance are played and gambling is the primary activity. Casinos often add luxuries to help attract patrons and increase profits, such as restaurants, free drinks, stage shows and dramatic scenery. Historically, less luxurious places that housed gambling activities have also been called casinos.
Modern casinos feature a wide range of table and electronic games, including blackjack, roulette, video poker, and various casino poker variations. Some offer live dealer interaction with players. The games vary by site, but the most famous include classics like Lightning Roulette and Double Ball Roulette, as well as Baccarat, and other popular options.
Gambling in some form has existed as long as people have been around, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice found at many ancient archaeological sites [Source: Schwartz]. The casino as a place for patrons to find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof did not develop until the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe and led to the establishment of aristocratic private parties known as ridotti.
Most modern casinos generate a large portion of their revenue from slot machines, which are simple devices that require no skill or strategy to play. The player inserts money, pulls a handle or pushes a button, and the machine pays out a predetermined amount of money based on a combination of random numbers generated by the machine’s computer chips. Some slot machines even display a video representation of reels, but the game results are determined solely by chance.