A casino is a place where people can gamble. While stage shows, restaurants and free drinks help draw in customers, the billions of dollars casinos make each year would not be possible without the games that patrons play. These include slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and more. Casinos can also feature a variety of dice games, such as two-up and boule. In addition, many Asian casinos offer traditional Far Eastern games such as sic bo (which spread to European and American casinos during the 1990s) and fan-tan.
Casinos have been around since ancient times, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided ones found in the world’s earliest archaeological sites [Source: Schwartz]. However, the modern idea of a casino as a gathering place for gambling enthusiasts did not develop until the 16th century, when a gambling craze took hold in Europe. During this time, Italian aristocrats held private parties in places called ridotti where they could enjoy a variety of gambling activities in one location.
The current crop of casino owners has much deeper pockets than the mob, and they were able to buy out their criminal counterparts and eliminate the mob influence in casinos. Even today, federal crackdowns and the threat of losing a gaming license at the faintest hint of Mafia involvement keep mob money from entering legitimate casino businesses. As a result, casino owners are able to focus on running the best gambling experiences in the world.