What Is a Casino?

A casino, also known as a gambling house or a gaming hall, is a place for entertainment and gambling. Casinos offer a variety of gambling games and are often combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops and cruise ships. In addition, casinos can host live entertainment such as comedy shows, concerts and sports events.

A number of states have legalized casinos, some by allowing riverboat or Indian reservations to operate casinos, others by amending their state laws. In the United States, casino gambling is most common in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, where a large percentage of visitors come from outside the country. Casinos are also found in New Orleans, where America’s first urban land-based casino opened in the 1980s; Louisiana is home to two Indian casinos, riverboat casinos, a handful of commercial land-based casinos, electronic bingo machines and pari-mutuel betting.

The most famous casino in the world is probably the Bellagio in Las Vegas, whose fountain show has been seen in countless movies and television shows. The Casino at Monte-Carlo, in the principality of Monaco, is another well-known casino.

Some casinos specialize in specific types of games, such as roulette (where the advantage is reduced to less than 1 percent), baccarat and craps. In addition, Asian casinos feature a number of traditional Far Eastern games, including sic bo (which spread to several European and American casinos during the 1990s), fan-tan and pai gow. In most cases, these games are conducted by employees referred to as croupiers or dealers.