What is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment for various types of gambling. It offers its customers a variety of games of chance, such as slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and keno. These machines and other gambling activities bring in billions of dollars in profit for casinos each year. The etymology of the word casino goes back to Italy and originally pointed to villas or summer houses or even social clubs.

The modern casino is like an indoor amusement park for adults, with the vast majority of its entertainment coming from gambling. The games of chance that casino patrons play include slots, black jack, roulette, baccarat and poker. While the lion’s share of the casino’s profits are from gambling, it also earns income through restaurants, hotels, retail stores, and other tourist attractions.

In the past, casino gambling was controlled by mobs and gangsters, but as real estate investors and hotel chains entered the business they were able to out-maneuver the mobsters. With the possibility of losing a gaming license at the slightest hint of Mafia involvement, mob influence has waned and the casino industry has become dominated by large, legitimate businesses.

While the revenue generated by casinos provides a considerable amount of money for local governments, they often have a negative impact on the economy of the communities they serve. In fact, some studies show that the cost of treating problem gamblers and lost productivity by people who are addicted to gambling more than offsets any economic benefits casinos may provide.