What is a Casino?


The word casino is most often used to describe an establishment for certain types of gambling. Most casinos offer a variety of gambling games, and some also include live entertainment such as concerts or sports events. They may be standalone buildings or part of larger resorts or hotels. Casinos can also be found on cruise ships and in some cities.

Gambling is a worldwide industry, and casinos can be found in almost every country. The United States leads the world with the most casinos, followed by Romania and Spain. Many countries have laws against gambling, but some, such as Macau and the Philippines, have legalized it. Some American Indian reservations have casinos, and other states allow them on riverboats or in other locations not subject to state antigambling laws.

While gambling has probably existed since ancient times, the modern casino as we know it developed in the 16th century. It started in Italy, with a craze for gambling that led to private parties held in places called ridotti. These were technically illegal, but the aristocratic patrons were so wealthy that they rarely were bothered by the authorities.

Modern casinos usually have a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. The security forces patrol the casino and respond to calls for assistance or to reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity. The specialized surveillance departments run the casino’s closed circuit television system, sometimes called “the eye in the sky.” These systems help prevent crime and make the experience safer for gamblers and other guests.