The term “casino” originally meant a small villa, summerhouse or pavilion built with the purpose of recreation and pleasure, usually erected on the grounds of a larger Italian villa or palazzo. There are examples of such casinos at Villa Farnese and Villa Giulia.
During the 19th century, the term casino came to include other public buildings where pleasurable activities took place, such as halls for music and dancing, gambling and sports, among others. But it wasn’t until the second half of the 19th century that the term use became more oriented towards gaming, or a collection of gaming rooms, to be precise. For a long time the world’s best-known casino was in Monte Carlo, opened in 1861. Another example of this type of building is the Newport Casino in Rhode Island.
In time the word “casino” started to include larger public facilities, where more activities, including gambling and sports, would take place, increasing the services offered to attract more clients. Casino games have had over the years a privileged place among many people as entertainment activities, providing them with hours of excitement and fun. More recently, some casinos are known for hosting live entertainment events, such as concerts and sports. There are about 4750 casinos worldwide these days.
Some important events in the history of casinos and gambling:
- The French invent playing cards around 1387.
- The oldest lottery still in operation was created in The Netherlands in 1726.
- It is believed that the first legal casino ever opened was in Baden, Switzerland, in 1765.
- The word “casino” is actually Italian, and means “little house”; today the “casino” gambling industry has become one of the biggest businesses in the world.
- In 1941 the El Rancho Vegas Hotel-Casino was built on what would later become the Las Vegas strip.
- Around 1995 the first online sportsbooks and casinos were launched. Since then the Internet gaming business has expanded considerably, and there are several thousands of online casinos for real money today.
Gambling in Casinos
In most jurisdictions, only people over the age of license are legally allowed to gamble or be present at any of these activities (ether 18 or 21 years old in most of the United States and other countries around the world where casinos can operate legally).
Customers can gamble by playing games of chance (e.g., craps, roulette, baccarat, slots) or of some other skill (e.g. blackjack, poker). Al these games usually have mathematically-calculated odds that ensure the “house edge” over the players. In games where players play against each other, such as poker, the house takes a commission, called the “rake”. The payout is the percentage earned by the players.
Playing with house money refers to the situation where a player is placing bets with money that has been won from previous games, in other words from the casino, without risking their own budget.
One of the top priorities of every casino is the security. Huge amounts of money move through casinos, tempting people into cheating the system. Security today consists mainly on cameras located throughout the halls, placed and operated by highly trained individuals who attempt to locate cheating and stealing, but not only by players; they also are in charge of keeping an eye over employees as well.
Nowadays, in most casinos the security is divided between a physical security force, which is in charge of patrolling the casino floor and to respond to calls for assistance, reporting criminal and/or suspicious activities, and there is also a specialized surveillance department. The people in this department monitor the casino though its closed circuit television system (known in the industry as the “eye in the sky”) in an effort to detect any misconduct by guests and employees alike. Both casino security departments work closely with each other to ensure the safety of the guests and the casino’s assets.
Online Casino Security
The encryption technology that an online casino uses is a key element of their and your security. What this does is make it tough, if not impossible, for a hacker to crack into the information database of the casino site and get sensitive information like credit card numbers or other account info. In terms of encryption, the best kind currently would be 128-bit SSL encryption. This is the same kind that is used by most banks, credit card companies and online sites that accept credit card payments. You may have noticed in the past that you see a small icon of a lock at the bottom of your window that may say something like 128-bit SSL; this means that you are visiting a secure page and all information being submitted is safe from hackers and thieves. If a site has less than 128-bit, it may not be as safe. A select few places have increased their security to higher than 128bit, which is also a very good rate. But just remember that 128bit is more than adequate and is pretty much a standard in this industry at this point.
Financial Transaction Records
Depending on the method of deposit you used, there may or may not be a record of your deposits. The good news is that a growing number of online casinos are offering complete financial histories that can be had with a few painless clicks of your mouse. This also allows the site to be able to do a full audit if need and will make any disputes that arise easier to research and resolve. These records should also use SSL encryption.