Located in the heart of Niagara Falls, this casino offers over 100 gaming tables and 2,500 slot machines. It also boasts a spectacular program of performances.
The word casino was probably derived from the Italian casona, a small country villa used for social occasions; by the second half of the 19th century, it had come to describe an establishment that offered gambling. The first casinos were simply public halls where music and dance took place; as the popularity of these venues grew, they were upgraded to include gambling tables.
By the end of the 1950s, casino ownership shifted from legitimate businessmen to organized crime figures. Mafia money brought new energy to Reno and Las Vegas, but mobsters weren’t content with providing funds alone; they wanted control of the casino operations. They became sole or partial owners, and exerted influence over dealers, pit bosses and other casino workers.
Security also became a key concern for casinos. Dealers keep close watch over patrons to spot blatant cheating (palming, marking and switching cards or dice). Each casino table game has a higher-up person watching the activity with a broader view, looking for betting patterns that suggest cheating. The casinos’ elaborate surveillance systems can monitor every table, doorway and window from a room filled with banks of video screens.
In addition to games of chance, most casinos offer a variety of other entertainment options. Many have restaurants and bars, while some host internationally renowned performers.