What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment that features various games of chance. While casinos may offer elaborate entertainment, shopping centers, lavish hotels and themed attractions to draw in the crowds, they are most well-known for their array of gaming opportunities. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps and poker are just a few of the popular choices. These games account for the billions in profits raked in by casinos each year.

The etymology of the word casino traces back to Italy, where it originally denoted something like a villa or summerhouse. Over time, however, the meaning has become more and more associated with various enjoyable activities and not the least of these is gambling.

Despite the name, a modern casino isn’t much different from the old ones that once operated in Europe. Today’s casino is a much more diversified destination, with not just gaming facilities but also prime dining and beverage offerings and performance venues where pop, rock and jazz performers come to play.

Casinos employ various technological systems to monitor and supervise the games themselves. For example, betting chips with built-in microcircuitry interact with electronic systems on tables to oversee the exact amounts wagered minute-by-minute, and to alert security personnel to any statistical deviations. Similarly, roulette wheels are electronically monitored and compared with the expected results to quickly spot anomalies.

A casino is a must for any resort town that wants to attract vacationers. Take, for example, the Sevenwinds Casino in Hayward, Wisconsin, located about three hours from Minneapolis. This destination has about 850 slots, as well as restaurants, bars and an outdoor concert venue that hosts acts like the Gin Blossoms and Survivor.