What Is a Casino?


A casino is a facility for certain types of gambling. The casino is usually located in or combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops, cruise ships, and other tourist attractions. Some casinos also host live entertainment events, such as concerts and stand-up comedy. The term casino may also refer to an establishment that specializes in certain games, such as poker or baccarat.

Casinos make money by taking a commission on bets placed on their games. The amount of money the casino takes varies depending on the game, but is usually around two percent. This gives the casino a built-in advantage over players that is called the house edge. Casinos also earn money by charging for services such as drink service, which is known as a vig or rake.

The history of the casino as a place to find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof dates back to the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe. Wealthy Italian aristocrats would hold parties at their homes, which were called ridotti, where they could gamble with each other and their friends. In the United States, the first modern casinos began appearing in the late 1960s, after Nevada legalized casino gambling and other states realized that they were losing tax revenue because their citizens were traveling to Nevada to gamble. Then in the 1980s, casinos started appearing on American Indian reservations, which are not subject to state anti-gambling laws.