What Is a Casino?


Casino (adverb) a gambling establishment, or room for games of chance. Originally, the term meant a hall for music and dancing, but by the second half of the 19th century it came to mean a collection of gaming or gambling rooms. In modern use it may refer to any of a number of places where people can gamble, including those operated by Native American tribes and state governments.

Most Americans picture a casino when they hear the word, and they often think of one of the Las Vegas megaresorts blazing with neon lights and filled with fun and games. But in fact casinos can be found all over the country and, indeed, the world. In many cases, they are small businesses defined more by the types of gambling they offer than by the glitz and glamour of their surroundings.

As a business, casinos must make money in order to survive, and they are able to do so by focusing their investments on the “high rollers” who spend much more than average. These patrons often gamble in special rooms, away from the main floor, where the stakes are sometimes in the tens of thousands of dollars. The casinos make much of their profit from these big-stakes players, and in return, they provide comps such as free rooms and meals and other perks.

Gambling is regulated in most states by government agencies responsible for creating rules and regulations for operators based on the state’s laws. In addition, some states have self-exclusion lists that prohibit gamblers from playing at casinos.

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