A casino (also known as a gambling house) is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Casinos are often built near or combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops, cruise ships, and other tourist attractions. Some casinos are also known for hosting live entertainment events such as stand-up comedy, concerts, and sports.
Gambling in some form has been popular throughout history. From the time of the ancient Mesopotamian city-states, to Napoleon’s France and Elizabethan England, it has been a source of excitement for millions of people. Even today, the thrill of winning a jackpot continues to attract people from around the world to Las Vegas and other gambling centers.
Casinos make money by charging bettors a “vig” or a small percentage of their total wagers. Combined with the edge given by the rules of each game, this gives casinos a mathematical expectation of profit over time. To maximize profits, casinos offer extravagant inducements to big bettors in the form of free or reduced-fare travel, luxury hotel rooms, food, drinks and entertainment.
The elegant spa town of Baden-Baden first became a playground for European royalty and aristocracy 150 years ago, and its casino is still one of the most extravagantly outfitted in the world. From its red-and-gold poker rooms to its plethora of blackjack and roulette tables, it’s an ode to old-world elegance that would make Marlene Dietrich proud. In the twenty-first century, casinos are choosier about who they let in; high rollers are indulged with private gaming suites, personal attention, and other perks.