A casino is a facility that houses gambling activities. It can be integrated into hotels, resorts, restaurants, cruise ships and other tourist attractions. It may also host live entertainment events such as stand-up comedy and concerts. Casinos can also be built as standalone facilities or as part of larger complexes including shopping malls and entertainment venues. The name is derived from the Italian word for small clubhouses where Italian gentlemen would gather to gamble and drink wine.

While most people associate casinos with Las Vegas, the first legal casino was opened in 1931 in the elegant spa town of Baden-Baden, Germany. Since then, casinos have proliferated around the world. Many have a distinctive architecture, featuring fountains and towers or replicas of famous landmarks. Other features include stage shows and dramatic scenery. While these elements add to the appeal of a casino, they are not required for it to be called a casino. Gambling halls with far fewer amenities can still be called casinos, although their names are usually not as descriptive.

Casinos generate significant tax revenues for the communities where they are located, which allows politicians to keep local taxes low or avoid cutting essential services or raising other taxes. Studies show that counties with casinos experience greater economic growth than those without them, including increased employment opportunities and higher average wages in the immediate neighborhood of the casino. This effect is even more pronounced when the casino is run by a major corporation with deep pockets, such as hotel chains or real estate developers.