What is a Casino?


A casino is a facility for certain types of gambling. Its games are usually based on chance, with some incorporating an element of skill. Some casinos also have dining, entertainment and lodging. Casinos are typically built near or combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops and/or cruise ships. In the United States, casinos are regulated by state law. Most have security measures to prevent cheating, stealing and other forms of dishonesty. Due to the large amounts of money involved, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently; many casinos use cameras to monitor their premises for suspicious activity.

In addition to traditional table games, most casinos offer a variety of electronic gaming machines, such as slot machines and video poker. In the United States, these games make up the majority of casino revenue. Other popular games include roulette, craps, and blackjack. In some games, the house takes a commission on winnings, a practice known as rake. This money is used to pay out winners, or to finance other casino operations.

Due to their virtually assured gross profit, casinos reward big bettors with lavish inducements. These can include free spectacular entertainment, transportation and luxury living quarters, but they also extend to less extravagant perks like reduced-fare transportation and hotel rooms. Some casinos even give free drinks and cigarettes to players while they gamble. These examples are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘casino.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors.