A casino is a gambling establishment that offers a variety of games of chance and some of them also offer an element of skill. The most common games include craps, blackjack, poker, video slot machines and roulette. A casino may also provide food and drinks. It may have a stage for entertainment or dramatic scenery. Some casinos are very lavish, offering free drinks, gourmet restaurants, expensive rooms and dazzling stage shows. Others are much less extravagant, but still serve as places where people can gamble and enjoy themselves.
While gambling certainly predates recorded history (primitive protodice, carved knuckle bones and a rudimentary form of roulette were found at excavation sites), the modern casino as a place for a variety of different ways to gamble under one roof did not develop until the 16th century, during a gaming craze in Europe. At that time, wealthy Italian nobles would gather in private clubs called ridotti to gamble and enjoy themselves.
The average casino gambler is a forty-six year old female from a household with above average income and who spends about eight hours a week gambling, according to research from Roper Reports GfK NOP and the U.S. Gaming Panel by TNS. A substantial percentage of casino gamblers are parents who may have children living at home and a large number have jobs in the service sector. Some have college degrees. The casino industry has been increasing rapidly and is a significant contributor to tourism in many countries.