What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment that allows customers to gamble by playing games of chance and in some cases with an element of skill. Casinos may also offer live entertainment and other amenities such as restaurants, retail shops, and entertainment venues. Many casinos are combined with hotels, resorts, or other tourist attractions.

The word casino is an Italian derived term meaning “public house” or “gambling house.” In English it became synonymous with the earliest modern casinos in Europe, which were often called saloons (a reference to the drinking establishments popular at that time). In French, the name was eventually shortened to cabaret.

Today, casinos are often associated with luxury and glamour. Some, such as the Bellagio in Las Vegas, are known for their dancing fountains, high-end dining options and breath-taking art installations. Others, such as Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, are famous for their iconic casino floor and high-stakes gambling opportunities. The film Ocean’s 11 further enhanced the reputation of these casinos and brought them to a global audience.

Because of the large amounts of money handled within a casino, both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion with each other or independently. In order to prevent this, casinos employ a variety of security measures. These include cameras located throughout the casino and security personnel. In addition, casino rules and regulations prohibit the use of alcohol or drugs by players, and require players to keep their cards visible at all times.