What Is a Casino?

A casino is a facility for certain types of gambling. Typically, it is combined with hotels and resorts, restaurants, retail shops, and/or cruise ships. Casinos are often staffed with professional gamblers and dealers, who supervise or manage the games. They also provide alcoholic drinks and snacks to players, who may be sitting around at tables or standing at slot machines.

The Bellagio in Las Vegas is perhaps the most famous casino in the world, thanks to its dancing fountains and high-end hotels and restaurants. It is one of the most luxurious casinos and a major tourist destination, as well as the backdrop for many films, including Ocean’s 11.

Although some people gamble compulsively, most gamblers do not have a problem. However, compulsive gambling does reduce the overall value of a casino to its local community by reducing spending on other entertainment and contributing to the costs of treating problem gamblers and lowering property values [Source: PBS].

Security in a casino is usually concentrated on the gaming floor, where employees keep their eyes on players to detect cheating or a breach of security. Dealers are especially trained to spot blatant cheating, such as palming or marking cards. Pit bosses and table managers monitor the activity of the games with a wider view and watch for betting patterns that might indicate cheating. In addition, each player is assigned a higher-up who notes his or her actions. These examples have been automatically selected from various online sources. They are not intended to represent the views of Merriam-Webster or its editors.