What Is a Casino?


A casino, or gambling house, is a place where people can gamble on various games of chance and skill. These include slot machines, table games and video poker. In addition, some casinos offer sports betting and horse racing. In the United States, a casino is a licensed establishment that offers gaming activities and is subject to state licensing regulations. Gambling income is fully taxable.

Casinos are often located in areas with a high concentration of tourists or on reservations where gambling is legal. Casinos are also often combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping and other entertainment venues. In the United States, there are many casino resorts and some are even built on cruise ships.

The history of the modern casino stretches back to the 16th century when a gambling craze swept Europe. At that time, wealthy Europeans often held parties in private clubs known as ridotti (named after the Latin word for table) where they would play dice and other gambling games.

Modern casino operators have a dual responsibility to provide for the safety and security of patrons and employees as well as to ensure that the games are fairly and honestly played. This is why casinos usually have a combination of a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. In the latter, there are cameras placed in the ceiling that can be adjusted by surveillance personnel to focus on particular suspicious patrons or to monitor activity throughout the casino floor.

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