A casino (also known as a gaming house, or a gambling hall) is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Casinos are often combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops or cruise ships. In addition to a large variety of gaming options, some casinos also offer live entertainment and/or other special events.

The word casino is derived from the Latin causa, meaning “fate” or “luck.” Gambling in some form has been part of human culture for millennia. Evidence of early gambling in China dates back to 2300 BC, dice appeared in Rome around 500 AD and card games arrived in the 1400s.

Today, the casino is one of the most popular forms of recreation. According to the American Gaming Association, about 51 million people visited casino gambling establishments in 2002. That number includes those on American Indian reservations that are not subject to state antigambling laws.

A famous casino can attract people from all over the world, whether it is a glamorous Las Vegas resort or an exotic locale like Venice. Some of the world’s most famous casinos are so renowned that they have become cultural icons.

For example, the Bellagio in Las Vegas has been featured in countless movies and TV shows and is considered to be one of the most beautiful casinos in the world. Others include the Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monaco and the Singapore Casino. Some casinos have a purely commercial focus, while others are devoted to promoting the history of gambling and its social impact.