What Is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. The word is a portmanteau of the Spanish and Latin words for “house” (casa) and “gambling” (las vegas). Historically, casinos were known only in cities such as Las Vegas, Reno and Atlantic City in the United States, but over time many other places have legalized casino gambling.

The casinos generate significant tax revenues for the home cities, which often use these funds to avoid cuts in other services or to increase taxes elsewhere. While some studies have argued that casinos may have negative effects on local property values, others have found that they boost employment and reduce crime rates in the immediate area.

Casinos offer various rewards for their “good” players, including free hotel rooms and food and beverages while playing, tickets to shows and even limo service and airline tickets for high rollers. The amount a player is rewarded is usually determined by how much the player spends at the casino, but there are also some games where players compete against other patrons rather than against the house, and these bets earn the casino money in the form of a commission, known as a rake.

Casinos are staffed by security personnel who are trained to look for cheating, including palming and marking cards, and they have video cameras that monitor the gambling floor. In addition, there are high-level managers who keep an eye on the casino as a whole, not just individual tables.

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