What Is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Usually, casinos are combined with hotels and resorts and serve as entertainment destinations for vacationers and business travelers. Some casinos are also known for hosting live entertainment events, such as concerts and stand-up comedy.

The word casino is derived from the Italian casona, meaning small country house or lodge. In modern usage, the term is most often associated with a facility for certain types of gambling, especially card games and table games like blackjack and roulette. A casino may also refer to an establishment offering other forms of entertainment such as dinner shows or high-flying circus acts. Many casinos have security forces that patrol the premises and respond to calls for assistance or reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity. In addition, most casinos have a specialized surveillance department that operates closed circuit television (CCTV), commonly known as the eye in the sky.

In the United States, casinos are regulated by state and local laws. Many states have enacted laws requiring casinos to be licensed, or to prohibit their operations unless they are located on Indian reservations, which are exempt from state antigambling statutes. In some cases, casinos are operated by private organizations that hold licenses from the state government. In other cases, the casinos are owned and operated by Native American tribes. Some states have prohibited casinos, while others encourage them by providing tax breaks and other incentives.