What is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people can play gambling games. It offers a variety of games, including slot machines, roulette, blackjack and craps.

Gambling predates recorded history, with protodice found in archeological sites. In the 16th century, an Italian craze swept Europe and people began to create private clubs called ridotti where they could gamble.

The word “casino” comes from the Italian slang term for something as simple as a villa or summerhouse, but over time has developed to describe a facility that offers a wide range of pleasurable activities. Modern casinos combine gambling with other recreational activities for tourists and vacationers.

How Casinos Make Money

The vast majority of the profit at a casino is made from gambling. While some of the profits come from musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and elaborate themes, most come from the games of chance.

For example, slot machines and (from the 1980s) video poker have become the economic mainstay of casinos, with their high volume, rapid play at sums ranging from five cents to a dollar. The mathematically determined odds ensure that the casino has a statistical advantage over the player, which is known as the house edge.

Security at casinos has become a major concern, with surveillance personnel monitoring players on the floor, dealers and pit bosses watching table games and video cameras catching any abnormalities in gaming. Casinos also use chips with built-in microcircuitry to automatically track the amounts wagered at each table and roulette wheel.