What is a Casino?


A casino, also known as a gambling establishment, is a building or room in which people can play various games of chance for money. A casino is a popular form of entertainment and is found in most countries around the world. Unlike other forms of gambling, casinos are designed to appeal to the senses with noise, light, and excitement. People interact with other gamblers, and a lot of the games are social in nature; players often shout encouragement and waiters circulate throughout the casino providing drinks and snacks.

While gambling probably predates recorded history, the modern casino as we know it developed during the 16th century when a gambling craze swept Europe and Italian nobles would hold private parties in places called ridotti [Source: Schwartz]. These essentially functioned as small clubs where the only things permitted to be played were dice, card games, and other games of chance.

Something about the atmosphere of a casino seems to encourage people to cheat and steal, which is why casinos spend a great deal of time, effort and money on security. Compulsive gambling also takes a toll on the economy, with studies showing that the cost of treating problem gamblers and lost productivity more than offsets any profits casinos might make.

The largest casino in the world is in Ledyard, Connecticut, at Foxwoods Resort Casino operated by the Mashantucket Pequot tribe. It features more than 4.7 million square feet and offers 17 different table games including sic bo, fan-tan, and pai gow. It is also home to a 5,000-seat theater where the likes of Sugar Ray Leonard, Larry Holmes, and Muhammad Ali have entertained crowds.