What is a Casino?


A casino is a facility for certain types of gambling. In modern usage, it usually refers to a large building that houses many games of chance and some restaurants and other entertainment facilities. It may also refer to a smaller gaming establishment that offers the same type of gambling but is less extensive.

Although gambling probably predates recorded history, the modern casino as a place where patrons can find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof did not develop until the 16th century, when a craze for gambling spread from Italy and led European nobles to establish private clubs known as ridotti (plural of “riddotto”). These were places where Italian aristocrats could gather informally to play gambling games that were technically illegal, but they rarely bothered with the legal authorities.

Today, casinos often contain thousands of slot machines and table games as well as opulent restaurants and bars. Some of the more famous casinos are located in Las Vegas, Monaco and elsewhere around the world.

The primary way a casino makes money is by charging a small percentage of the total amount of bets to each player. This advantage can be as low as two percent or as high as ten percent, depending on the game and the number of players. Casinos also generate revenue by offering free goods and services to “good” players, such as meals, hotel rooms, limo service and show tickets. Most casinos have a high-level security force that watches over the gambling floor and keeps tabs on patrons to spot any blatant cheating or illegal activity.