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What is a Casino?

A casino is a place where people can gamble and play games of chance. Many casinos also have restaurants and stage shows. Some have hotel accommodations and/or convention centers. People from all over the world visit casinos to try their luck.

In 2008, about 24% of Americans reported visiting a casino. About half preferred slot machines, while a quarter chose blackjack, and 8% favored poker. Other popular games included craps and roulette. The most common reason for visiting a casino was to have fun. Other reasons included to relax, socialize and get away from daily responsibilities. Some critics say that casinos harm communities because the money spent on gambling diverts spending from other forms of entertainment and from local businesses; that lost productivity from compulsive gambling offsets any economic benefits.

The first casino was established in 1638 in Venice, Italy. It was called the Ridotto, and was the first government-sanctioned gambling house. Its popularity spread as the government closed other public gambling houses and pushed gambling into private clubs, which became casinos.

The modern casino is a sophisticated operation that employs many security measures to deter cheating and theft. Patrons are usually screened for identification before being allowed to enter the casino, and the entrance is often guarded by uniformed personnel or security cameras. Inside, patrons must pass through a metal detector and may be subject to a patdown search by security personnel. Casinos are brightly lit to attract gamblers’ eyes and enliven the senses. The color red is frequently used because it stimulates the brain.