A casino is a facility for certain types of gambling. These establishments are often combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops and other tourist attractions. They may also be located on or connected to cruise ships and other vacation venues. Some casinos specialize in one type of game, such as poker or bingo, while others offer a variety of different games.

The name comes from the Italian word for “a small clubhouse for music and dancing.” In the second half of the nineteenth century, as large public gaming houses closed, casinos spread throughout Europe. By the early twentieth century, they had reached the United States, where Nevada’s state law permitted them and a number of other states amended their antigambling statutes to permit casino gambling.

Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, casino construction and expansion has accelerated worldwide. The Venetian Macau in Asia is the largest single-structure casino in the world and features a canal with gondolas, 350 shops, a live arena, Michelin-starred restaurants and a 3,400-room hotel. Despite their names, Caesars Palace and Bellagio in Las Vegas are not the largest casinos in the United States, as measured by floor space.

In addition to securing player funds, a casino must also protect itself from cheating and stealing by patrons. This is why most casinos have security measures in place. In some cases, these involve a network of cameras and other electronic sensors. In other cases, security is enforced by rules and behaviors; for example, players at card games must keep their cards visible at all times.

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