A casino is an establishment for gambling. It may include a variety of games like blackjack, poker, roulette, craps and more. In addition, a casino may also have live entertainment such as stand-up comedy, concerts or sports. Several casinos are located across the United States, and some even internationally. In many cases, these are combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops or cruise ships.
Although gambling probably predates recorded history, the term casino is derived from the Italian word for small game: astragali (cut knuckle bones) and carved six-sided dice found on ancient archaeological sites are considered protocasinos [Source: Schwartz]. But casinos as places where people could find a wide variety of ways to gamble under one roof didn’t develop until the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe. At that time, aristocratic socialites often held private parties at places called ridotti to play a variety of card and board games, without fear of prosecution by the Inquisition.
Today, casino security is usually divided between a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. Casino security staff patrol the floors and respond to calls for help or reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity. Casinos also use closed circuit television, sometimes known as an “eye in the sky,” which allows them to monitor patrons and their actions from a room filled with banks of security cameras. These systems are usually adjusted by security workers in a control room to focus on certain suspicious patrons.