What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment offering a wide range of gaming options, such as slot machines and table games. Some casinos also offer live entertainment, top-notch hotels and spas, and restaurants.

Something about the casino environment—perhaps its very location—seems to encourage people to cheat, steal or otherwise try to game the system and win money that doesn’t belong to them. That’s why casinos spend a lot of time, effort and money on security. Security cameras are everywhere in the facility, and employees are trained to spot blatant cheating and stealing.

Casinos are also known for their perks, which are often designed to lure gamblers into spending more money. These comps, or complimentary items, can include free hotel rooms, meals and show tickets. Some casinos even give away limo service and airline tickets to their biggest spenders. The best way to know if you’re getting comped is to ask a casino employee or someone at the information desk.

The first modern casinos popped up in Europe in the 19th century. These opulent, elegant destinations drew royalty and aristocracy from across the continent, with some of the most famous examples in the glamorous spa town of Baden-Baden, Germany; Cannes, France; Divonne-les-Bains, France; and Deauville, France. By the 1960s, nearly all European countries had changed their laws to allow casinos. The United States followed suit, with many of the most famous American casinos found in Atlantic City, New Jersey; Las Vegas; and various Indian reservations.