The Casino Industry – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly


A casino is a place where people can gamble and play games of chance. It may add a host of other luxuries, such as restaurants and shopping centers to lure patrons, but the primary business of a casino is gambling and the profits it brings in. While musical shows and lighted fountains help draw in customers, casinos would not exist without the likes of slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and other popular gambling games.

Gambling has been around for millennia in one form or another. Archeological evidence of dice has been found dating back to 2300 BC, while the earliest card games date to around 500 AD. While the precise origin of gambling is unknown, it was well established by the early 1700s, when the first game still played today-baccarat-first rose to prominence.

The casino industry has grown to become an enormous economic force. It generates billions in profits for its owners, and it attracts millions of visitors each year. But there are darker sides to the business. Studies have shown that casinos shift spending away from other forms of entertainment and often bring in more than their fair share of problem gamblers. Moreover, the costs of treating problem gambling and lost productivity from compulsive gamblers more than offset any economic gains.

Some of the most famous casinos in the world are renowned for their luxury, elegance and history. The Bellagio in Las Vegas is a prime example, but other illustrious establishments include the Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monaco, the Casino Lisboa in Lisbon and the Casino Baden-Baden in Germany.