When most people think of casinos, they picture the bright lights and big money of Las Vegas and Atlantic City. While these places are certainly the best known, there are also casinos in every state, from tiny mountain towns where 19th century Wild West buildings host poker and slot machines to glamorous cities that are home to high-end hotels and casino resorts.
The term casino originally denoted a large public hall for music and dancing, but the game of gambling soon came to be associated with them. Today, most casino locations feature a wide range of gaming options including table games, slot machines and video poker as well as restaurant facilities and accommodations.
While the precise origins of casino are unknown, it is generally believed that gambling has been popular throughout history in nearly every culture. From Ancient Mesopotamia and Greece to Napoleon’s France and Elizabethan England, casinos have provided an escape from everyday life through the chance of winning a fortune.
Although most patrons of casino games are honest and do not cheat, there is always the potential for both collusion and independent theft. Therefore, most casinos employ a variety of security measures to prevent these crimes. These range from surveillance cameras that cover the entire casino floor to highly sophisticated eye-in-the-sky systems that monitor every table, window and doorway. In addition to these technological precautions, casino employees are trained to notice patterns and deviations in the actions of their patrons.