Whether you’re hitting the slots, pulling on your poker face, or throwing dice at the craps table, casinos are one of the most fun places to satisfy your gambling itch. And while musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels all help draw in visitors, the real reason casinos exist is for games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and other games provide the billions in profits that casino owners rake in each year.
Gambling is a form of entertainment that’s been around in nearly every culture throughout history. From Mesopotamia and Ancient Greece to Elizabethan England and Napoleon’s France, people have flocked to casinos for the thrill of winning and the excitement of losing. Today, casinos have evolved into multi-purpose entertainment complexes that combine gaming facilities with high-end dining and beverage establishments.
Casinos are also famous for offering a wide variety of non-gambling activities. From a contemporary art gallery and three restaurants to a three-ring rotating stage for live performances and flexible auditorium, they’re often designed to appeal to a broad range of interests. For example, the Casino Lisboa in Lisbon, Portugal, is the largest casino in Europe. It offers a whopping 165,000 square feet of gaming space and features 26 different types of slot machines and table games. In the United States, many casinos are located in massive resorts and others are found at racetracks converted into racinos. In either case, a successful casino generates revenue for corporations, investors, native American tribes, and state and local governments.