A Casino is a place where people can gamble. While musical shows, lighted fountains and elaborate hotels help draw customers in, casinos would not exist without the games of chance that provide the billions of dollars in profits raked in each year. Roulette, blackjack and slot machines provide the bulk of this income. Craps and keno also generate significant sums, as do many traditional Far Eastern games such as sic bo, baccarat, fan-tan and pai gow.

Something about gambling seems to encourage cheating, stealing and scamming, which is why casinos devote so much time and money on security. Among other things, security teams train to look for familiar patterns of play and reactions from players, such as how dealers shuffle cards or where bets are placed on a table. It is also important for casinos to be able to recognize suspicious behavior, such as when a player suddenly moves from a blackjack table to the keno room.

Casinos have been around since the 16th century, when a craze for dice-playing led to European nobles hosting private parties in rooms called ridotti [Source: Schwartz]. But the modern casino as we know it evolved during the 1940s and 1950s, when mobster money flowed into Reno and Las Vegas to help build their reputation as legitimate businessmen with deep pockets. The mobster cash helped attract real estate investors and hotel chains, who soon realized they could make even more money than the mobsters by running casinos on their own and without the Mafia’s interference.

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