The word casino is derived from the Italian casona, meaning “residence,” and is also related to the French casin, meaning “little house.” A casino is a facility where gambling games are played. It is also a popular tourist attraction and is often associated with luxurious hotel accommodations, fine dining, entertainment, nightclubs and shopping.

Modern casinos usually have two security departments: a physical security force that patrols the property and responds to calls for assistance or reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity, and a specialized surveillance department that operates the casino’s closed circuit television system, known as the eye-in-the-sky. In addition, there are usually several people watching each table game to spot patterns of behavior that could signal cheating or stealing.

While every game has a mathematical expectation of winning or losing, casino operators make much of their profit from high rollers, who gamble in rooms separate from the main gaming floor and are given special comps such as free spectacular entertainment, discounted transportation and accommodations, and luxury suites. The casinos that cater to high rollers are often referred to as VIP or high-roller casinos.

Although the casinos are most famous in Las Vegas, they can be found around the world. Many American Indian reservations have casinos, which are exempt from state antigambling statutes. There are also a number of casinos in Europe, which opened in the 1980s after European governments liberalized their laws on gambling. In addition, many of the large hotels in cities with large populations have casinos, as do some major cruise ships.