The casino industry generates billions of dollars every year. It is a business that has maintained its popularity in recent years despite the current economic downturn, and it is well positioned for future growth. What drives people to spend their hard earned money in casinos? What keeps the machine running?

The word “casino” is derived from the Italian word for “small country house.” The world’s oldest casino is in Venice, Italy and is called Casino di Venezia. The casino was originally part of the Theater Saint Moses, where patrons would gamble during intermission. The Mauro Codussi-designed building was bought by the city of Venice in 1959.

Today, the casino is a complex facility that includes a variety of gambling games and other attractions. Countless operations are executed on a daily basis to run and manage the games, offer and distribute bonuses, handle various forms of payments, and track customer accounts and behavior. This work is typically performed by a team of people called gaming mathematicians and computer programmers.

Some casinos are very famous and attract high-rollers from around the world. These include the Bellagio in Las Vegas, the Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monaco, and the Baden-Baden casino in Germany. Other casinos are located on American Indian reservations, which operate outside state prohibitions against gambling. In the United States, legal casinos were first established in Atlantic City in 1978 and then spread throughout the country during the 1980s and 1990s.