Gambling in Exotic Locations

When most people think of a casino, they envision one of the megaresorts in Las Vegas, brimming with neon lights and games. But casinos come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny neighborhood businesses to massive entertainment complexes. And just as important as size and glitz, the location of the casino can make or break the experience. Pair exotic locales like Venice, Monaco, or Singapore with a casino and you’ve got a recipe for an unforgettable getaway.

Gambling in its various forms has been around for millennia. Archeological evidence shows that dice were used in China as early as 2300 BC, and playing cards appeared about 500 AD. But modern casinos owe their origin to the invention of roulette in 1655 by the mathematician and all-around genius Blaise Pascal.

Unlike lotteries and Internet gambling, casino gambling involves social interaction. Players may be seated at tables or in slot machines alongside other gamblers, and they can shout encouragement or give each other advice. In addition, many casinos are designed around noise, light, and excitement. Some have catwalks in the ceiling where surveillance personnel can look down, through one-way glass, on the activities at the tables and machines.

Casinos earn money by charging a “house edge” on some games, which is the percentage of the total amount bet that the house wins. The house edge for table games such as blackjack or poker is highly dependent on the rules of the game, and skilled players can lower it through basic strategy. However, the profit margin for most casinos is much greater for machines such as video poker and slots. This is because the games are played at high speeds and the machines can be programmed to take any desired percentage of the bets.