Land-based casinos used to only offer casino games to guests. With the rise of the internet, these casinos started to add more offers to their list.
Casino and gambling are two words that constantly exist around each other. However, gambling has existed long before the word ‘casino’ was even used.
Gambling is defined as ‘playing games of chance’. These games come in many forms from different parts of the world but it was in Ancient China when the earliest records of playing cards were found.
Gambling, in its various forms, evolved with different societies and there came a time when playing games of chance needed to be organized and regulated. Cards were played in China around the 9th century, but the first casinos started being built in the 17th century.
What is a Casino?
A casino is a facility or a place where different types of gambling activities take place. Also called gambling or gaming houses, casinos offer different games of chance.
The word ‘casino’ is believed to be of Italian origin. Its Italian root word ‘casa’ means house. It can also mean a villa, cottage, or social club. A house that regularly hosts parties and social gatherings is also called a casino in the past.
These parties involve dancing, singing, drinking, and gambling. Gambling eventually became the main point of these parties and the word ‘casino’ slowly became the term for places where gambling takes place.
In fact, the world’s oldest casino, The Ridotto, was not yet called a casino when it first opened. It was established because players needed an organized gambling facility.
The Ridotto opened in the 17th century in Venice, Italy. As the world’s first casino, The Ridotto started the worldwide use of the word ‘casino’ as we know it today.
Types of Casino
There are two types of casinos:
- Land Casinos (also called Land-based Casinos)
- Online Casinos
Land casinos are the physical gambling houses where guests can play various casino games. It used to be the only type of casino until we entered the Information Age.
Before the rise of the internet, land-based casinos mostly offer casino games to guests. You can play different table games and slots. Land casinos have to be more competitive in recent years because of online casinos. Top land casinos in the world even have their own online casinos now.
The Information Age started in the 1970s, and marked the start of computers, new media, and major advancements in digital technology. Eventually, the internet was discovered. With society entering the Information Age, gambling took another form.
The internet paved the way for online gambling, and online casinos were eventually established. The first online casinos opened in 1994.
What Can You Find in a Land Casino
The popularity of land casinos remained strong even with the rapid increase of online casinos found on the internet. The most popular casinos in the world are also luxury hotels and resorts.
Along with the best accommodation and customer service, guests are also offered the best gaming experience from the resort’s casino. These land casinos are usually not separated from the hotel amenities and are very easy to find.
Land casinos also sometimes feature different gaming rooms for high stakes gaming and VIPs. Other services offered by most land casinos are:
- Entertainment acts
- Drinks at the casino bar
- Casino staff service
- Membership program*
*Casino players can register for a land casino’s membership program and earn points by playing. These points can be exchanged for discounts and other benefits from the land casino.
Land casinos usually have an open floor plan where most, if not all the games they offer can be seen. Most of the top casinos in the world have the same exterior and interior designs such as:
- Bright and blinking lights
- An interior with bold colors (shades of red are almost always present)
- Main gaming floor usually has no windows.
- Main gaming floor also usually has no clocks or time displays.
Games vary from one casino to another but land casinos generally have two types of games offered:
- Table games
- Electronic games
Table games require gaming tables where players can sit around while facing a dealer. Most table games are card games with few exceptions like roulette. Dealers are the ones responsible for shuffling and distributing cards to players during games. Here are the main table games offered by land casinos:
- Casino war
- Pai Gow
- Sic Bo
- Fan Tan
Keep in mind that these table games may not be all found in a single land casino. The number of gaming tables per land casino also varies all the time.
The table games listed above also have different variants with different rules, bets, etc. For instance, poker has variants like three card poker and omaha poker. These are only two of the poker variants.
Land casinos may also offer electronic games like slot machines and video machines. A slot machine is an electronic game where players have to roll out a combination to win.
The combination comes from the slot’s reels. Players will push a button or lever and see if they end up with a combination pattern. If a combination does not appear, players may choose to try again.
Slot games are the most common electronic games found in land casinos. They are also usually higher in number than the gaming tables.
Electronic versions of table games are also offered by land casinos. Electronic Baccarat and Roulette are some of the famous electronic games. Instead of a physical table with cards and dice, electronic table games have digital screens.
Casino Capitals of the World
There are thousands of land casinos that operate in the world. Most of these land casinos are found in a few specific locations only.
These locations are known as the Casino Capitals of the World. This is where you can find the world’s most popular casinos. Here are some of the casino capitals of the world:
Las Vegas or simply Vegas is a city in the state of Nevada, USA. It is known as the Entertainment Capital of the World, attracting about 40 million tourists every year. The city’s iconic Vegas Strip is where most of the casinos are found. There are other casinos located in the downtown area as well.
The Nevada state government realized that gambling would bring in local profits so the state legalized gambling in 1931. The Northern Club, located in the downtown area, was the first casino that got its Nevada gaming license.
Other downtown casinos soon followed in the following decades. In 1941, the first casino resort opened in the Vegas Strip. It is the El Rancho Vegas, owned by Thomas Hull. Other Vegas Strip casinos followed since then.
However, the Vegas Strip did not become fully developed until the early 1970s. Many luxury resort projects started around that time.
The 70s eventually led to the Vegas Strip’s megaresort era. Giant gambling companies started to build ‘megaresorts’ that feature luxury accommodation and casino gaming. These megaresorts became Vegas’ shining institutions we now know today.
Monte Carlo is a large district in the country of Monaco. Monaco is a small independent city-state found on the borders of France. One of Europe’s microstates, Monaco has a total of four districts including Monte Carlo.
The country is along the French Riviera, a coastline known for its exclusive beach resorts and upscale living. Many of Monaco’s luxurious properties have grand views of the Mediterranean Sea.
Monaco only has four casinos in the country and all of them can be found in Monte Carlo. Two casinos can be found in Monte Carlo’s Casino Square, including the Casino de Monte Carlo which might be the country’s most popular casino. The remaining two casinos in Monte Carlo can be found close by the Square.
Monte Carlo casinos, despite its few numbers, are known all over the world for their grandeur and extravagant designs. In fact, a few scenes from James Bond films were shot at one of Monte Carlo’s casinos.
Many tourists visit Monte Carlo every year to experience playing at their casinos. As the playground of the rich and famous, Monte Carlo’s luxurious way of living is reflected in its casinos.
Unlike the usual casino design, Monte Carlo casinos do not have excessive blinking lights and loud details. Instead, the casinos mostly have a calm but luxurious atmosphere.
Macau is a special administrative region of China. It also ran under Portuguese government until 1887 when China finally acquired the rights to Macau. As a special administrative region, Macau has its own system of government separate from China.
Macau has been given many nicknames over the years. Some of the famous ones are ‘Monte Carlo of the Orient’ and ‘Asia’s Vegas’. The region started getting worldwide recognition when it started opening various casino resorts in a short amount of time.
In less than two decades, Macau became known worldwide as a casino capital. Gambling in Macau brings half of the total revenue in the region. In fact, Macau’s gambling revenue was reported to be higher than Las Vegas’ in 2007. Many more international and luxury resorts have opened since then.
London is the capital of England and the United Kingdom. It is the largest city in the country as well. England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Other countries under the United Kingdom are:
- Northern Ireland
Casinos in London have a close likeness to Monte Carlo casinos. London casinos do not usually have a massive gaming floor. Some of them are casino clubs that offer table games and slots in a relaxed atmosphere. There are also exclusive casino clubs in London where members are only allowed to play.
Other Gambling Cities in the World
Some of the world’s most famous casinos are found in the four locations mentioned above. These are considered to be some of the world’s casino capitals. Aside from the places listed above, you can also visit these places if you want more gaming experience.
However, there are still a few cities around the world that are known for their gambling industry. Here are some of them:
- Atlantic City, USA
- Queensland and Northern Territory, Australia
- San Jose, Costa Rica
- Marina Bay, Singapore
- Nassau, Bahamas
Land Casino Trivia
- Charles Fey, a car mechanic in San Francisco, invented the slot machine.
- The table game Roulette was originally named Roly Poly
- A gambler named Archie Karas once turned US$50 to US$40 million bankroll
- Many believe that it was Roman soldiers who first invented the roulette game
- There are Vegas casino resorts that do not have a 13th floor because of gamblers’ superstition
- The largest slot jackpot ever won was worth almost US$40 million