What is a Casino?


A Casino is a facility for certain types of gambling. These gambling establishments often combine with hotels, restaurants, retail shops and/or cruise ships. The precise origin of gambling is unknown but it is believed that some form of it was used in many societies throughout history. In modern times casinos can be found in most countries. Several states in the United States have legalized casinos and these are generally regulated by state law.

Most casinos are operated by private companies. Most have gaming tables and slot machines. Some have a full range of table games and others specialize in poker, blackjack or other card games. Gaming machines are usually supervised by casino employees known as dealers or croupiers. Table games are played by one or more players against the house, which is represented by a croupier or dealer. These games are sometimes called pit games and include poker, craps, roulette and baccarat.

In the US, about 51 million people – or about one quarter of all adults over the age of 21 – visited a casino in 2002. Las Vegas is the most famous casino destination, but other cities such as Atlantic City and Chicago have a substantial number of casinos. Many of these gambling dens are lavish temples of temptation, decked out with opulent furnishings and overflowing bars. The Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco is especially well-known, having been featured in multiple James Bond films and the popular book Busting Vegas by Ben Mezrich.