Since the early days of man, gambling has always been part of our society. It seems to be an inherent trait in humans to master chance and their odds of winning and casinos are a perfect example of illustrating humans’ love for games.
While gambling goes a long way back in our history, casinos as we know it today begun in Venice during the 1600s. In 1626, the Il Ridotto (The Redoubt) was authorised by the government to have games as long they pay the necessary taxes on the winnings. The word ‘casino‘ is Italian in origin coming from the root word ‘casa’ which means house, a small country villa or a social club. In the 19th century the word ‘casino’ is used to denote not just houses but also other buildings or places which host other forms of entertainment like dancing, music, civic meetings, and gambling.
Casinos flourished in Europe during the 19th century but by the 20th century the interest shifted to the United States. Las Vegas, Nevada dominated the casino scene for more than 50 years and its establishments have become the gold standard and model across other casinos in the world. In terms of numbers, the United States also has the most number of casinos totaling to around 1,900. This is followed by Canada, Mexico, France, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom at the sixth place.
Casinos offer a wide variety of games of chance such as roulette, blackjack, baccarat, slot machines, lottery, bingo and many others. These games can be categorised into three general types : table games, electronic gaming machines and random number ticket games. Some gaming machines are also played individually and does not require any assistance from casino staff and while these games may seem to rely only on chance and pure luck it also require a bit of skill.
Setting foot on an actual casino may seem intimidating to some but with new technology and the ubiquitous presence of smartphones and computers users now have the option of playing online. Beginners and interested persons can start by visiting online casino sites where they can get a grasp of the game and practice their skills first. One good example of such sites is NetBet where you can play not just the traditional casino games but also other games where you can earn prizes. NetBet also provides bonuses, freebies or free spins so users can get started easily and enjoy.
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Casino industry is big business. Online gambling market alone was valued as USD 44.16 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach USD 81.71 billion by 2022 while global land-based casinos had a gross win of around USD 450 billion also in 2016. Several cities in the world are also defined by their booming casino & gambling industries. Notable examples are Las Vegas, Macau & Monte Carlo.
Casinos now have evolved from solely being gaming establishments to a combination of hotels, restaurants, resorts, and shopping complexes which provide entertainment for the whole family. The Marina Bay Sands in Singapore is one good example and is currently ranked as the most expensive standalone casino in the world priced at around USD 8 billion.