What is a Casino?

a place where people can play gambling games, including slot machines and table games. Casinos are often combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops, and cruise ships. Some casinos host live entertainment, such as concerts and stand-up comedy. In military and non-military usage, a casino may refer to an officers’ mess.

While gambling has probably existed for thousands of years, the casino as a centralized location where people can find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof did not emerge until the 16th century. At that time, a gambling craze swept Europe, and wealthy nobles would gather in places called ridotti to play. [Source: Schwartz]

Today, the majority of casinos are located in Nevada and Atlantic City. Other states that allow legal gambling include Iowa, Illinois, and New Jersey. In addition, the popularity of Native American gaming has encouraged some casinos to open in other parts of the country.

Although casinos provide an exciting night out for many patrons, they do not bring much economic benefit to the communities where they operate. Moreover, studies indicate that compulsive gambling contributes to the financial problems of some families and communities, and that the costs of treating problem gamblers can far outweigh any profits that a casino generates. The use of the word casino is often criticized by those who advocate prohibition or other restrictions on gambling. These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘casino.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors.

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