Modern casino resorts feature musical shows, lighted fountains and theme restaurants but the vast majority of the profits raked in by casinos worldwide are generated by gambling games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, poker and craps are the cornerstone of the industry that draws millions of people to these entertainment centers each year.
While the flashy stage shows, luxurious hotels and shopping centers that make up modern casinos add a level of comfort and luxury to the experience, they cannot replace the billions that are raked in by games like baccarat, keno and slots. The fact of the matter is that no casino would be able to survive without these games because, unlike other forms of entertainment, the house always wins.
It’s no surprise that casinos are often portrayed as decadent temples of temptation. Decked out with opulent furnishings and overflowing bars, these gambling halls elevate the art of risk-taking to a whole new level. The ten most extravagant casinos of all time include renowned gambling dens like the MGM Grand on the Las Vegas strip, which attracts hardened dollar spinners and curious tourists alike.
The MGM Grand features the usual range of casino games but it is a bit known for its state-of-the-art sports betting facilities complete with 60 large plasma televisions where visitors can flick their coins on American football, boxing, martial arts and soccer, all while grabbing drinks and snacks from the bar.
Gambling has been a popular pastime for many centuries but casinos as we know them only emerged in the late 19th century in Nevada and Atlantic City. Prior to this, gambling was done in secret or with the complicity of local law enforcement. The legalization of casinos was not a popular development and it took decades before another state even considered it.
From their inception, casinos have been designed to ensure that they will generate a profit, no matter what. A variety of built-in advantages make it nearly impossible for patrons to beat the house edge and win any money. Casinos also rely on a number of psychological tricks to keep patrons playing longer. For example, they use bright and sometimes gaudy floor and wall coverings to stimulate the senses and distract patrons; red is a common color used because it is thought to help gamblers forget that time is passing. In addition, there are no clocks on the walls because it is believed that a reminder of time could be a distraction to the gamer’s concentration. Finally, studies show that casino revenues largely benefit the gaming industry and do not translate into significant economic benefits for local communities. In fact, some critics argue that the cost of treating compulsive gamblers and lost productivity erodes any positive impact that casinos may have on local economies. As a result, most local governments are skeptical of the need for casinos and have strict gambling laws. Despite these restrictions, the number of casinos is increasing across the country and around the world.