The Dark Side of the Casino


A casino, in the most general sense, is an establishment where gambling takes place. It is a form of entertainment that has been around for thousands of years. While musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels help draw the crowds, casinos would not exist without games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and other games give the casinos the billions of dollars in profit they rake in every year.

The game of chance has been played in one form or another in almost every civilization, from Ancient Mesopotamia and the Greeks through Napoleon’s France and Elizabethan England. It is also an integral part of many religions, from Islam to Judaism to Buddhism and Hinduism. In modern times, the casino has become a popular entertainment destination in the United States and elsewhere.

While casinos are generally considered to be fun and exciting places to visit, they can also have a darker side. Some casinos allow players to gamble with money that is borrowed from others, and there are several different ways that people can get hooked on gambling. Some of the most common methods of addiction include compulsive gambling, pathological gambling and problem gambling.

The earliest casinos in America were often on American Indian reservations, which are exempt from state antigambling laws. As the industry grew in the 1980s, the casinos began to be built on land and in other locations that were no longer subject to state regulations.