What is a Casino?
However, the official definition of a casino is really any public/private place used for gambling. A local firehouse having a (legal) gambling night can technically be a casino for an evening. In most cases, however, a casino is a permanent structure, having a mix of card games, gambling machines, sporting events, and other entertainment to maximize traffic. A mix of fun means something for everyone!
While the origin of gambling is unknown, the first casinos were seen in Venice during the 1600’s. Later on, casinos became known as places where people could gather to be entertained and to gamble. In the Americas, some people say casinos evolved out of saloons (which really weren’t that different from the casinos of today – just smaller, and with a lot more dirt!) Whether saloons evolved into casinos or not is for you to decide, but we generally think of a casino as a modern day saloon with more glitz (and less guns).
Today, South African casinos, and indeed casinos all around the world are a billion dollar industry providing a majority of the income for some reservations, cities, states, and even some countries! They are massive venues, with hundreds of gambling tables (blackjack, poker, baccarat, roulette, and others), slot machines, sports books, restaurants, bars, showrooms, convention halls, and much more – some even have roller coasters right inside!!
The casino has many different employees – there are the dealers, the floorpersons, slot attendants, casino hosts, pit bosses, and many many more. They offer much more than gaming, and the biggest have hundreds of hotel rooms right onsite. They even may “comp” rooms (and meals, shows, etc) to regular gamblers.
The Casino is also the “opponent” in many gambling games. Games like blackjack, craps, and roulette don’t really involve you playing against other players as much as you play against “the house” (the casino itself.) And, of course, to pay for all the glitz, the casino almost always has a “house edge.”
With the tremendous revenue available, casinos have even entered the virtual age. Online casinos offer everything from real time betting on sports to regular games of poker or blackjack. Online casinos change the definition a bit, since many of the things you would find in a normal casino are gone. There’s no booze except what you bring and the girls with feathers are nowhere to be found (too bad – it would be nice if the virtual casino could send over a cocktail person with a drink!) Still, it’s a gathering place for people to gamble and thus, considered a casino.
If you haven’t visited a true casino, we heartily recommend it. You’ll likely be overwhelmed by the sights and sounds at first (really), but we assure you, soon you’ll be at a table shouting “baby needs new shoes” as you throw the dice!