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A casino is a special establishment that provides immersive gambling entertainment. Although musical shows, lighted fountains, shops and lavish hotels help draw in patrons, the majority of casino revenue comes from the games themselves. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, keno and baccarat provide the entertainment that draws billions of dollars into casinos each year. In this article we’ll take a look at how casinos make money, the history behind them and some of the most popular games.

Gambling has been around as long as humans have been around, with primitive proto-dice (cut knuckle bones) and even carved six-sided dice found in ancient archaeological sites. But the modern casino as we know it didn’t appear until the 16th century, with a gambling craze in Italy creating small private clubs for aristocrats called ridotti [Source: Schwartz].

In order to ensure fair play, casinos must be able to keep track of all wagers and payouts. The use of technology is critical in this regard, with cameras in every room and a computerized system that allows security workers to monitor every game and detect statistical deviations.

In addition to ensuring that the money that is bet is not lost, casinos also give out comps to good gamblers in the form of free rooms, meals and show tickets. Players must ask a casino employee or visit the information desk for details on how to get a comp. Getting a comp is one of the best ways to save money on a trip to a casino.