A casino is a place where gambling activities take place. While casinos add luxuries like restaurants, free drinks and stage shows to make them more inviting, they are basically places where people can gamble on games of chance. Casinos can be found in cities, resorts and cruise ships. They are also sometimes combined with hotels, restaurants and retail shops. The word casino may also be used to refer to a particular game, such as blackjack or poker.
Casinos can be intimidating, especially to first-timers. Besides the noise, bright lights and constant movement of players, there are security personnel everywhere to prevent cheating or theft. In addition to armed security officers, many casinos have large, beautiful fountains, towers and replicas of famous buildings that create an impressive atmosphere for gambling.
The elegant spa town of Baden-Baden, Germany, began as a playground for European royalty and aristocracy over a century ago and still attracts wealthy patrons to its luxurious rooms, red-and-gold poker rooms and endless rows of roulette and blackjack tables. Casinos can be designed to have a specific look, such as the Bellevue Palace in Monaco, which combines baroque flourishes with modern technology.
The most famous casino is probably the Bellagio in Las Vegas, which has become synonymous with high-end gambling and luxury. Its large rooms, awe-inspiring displays and non-gambling attractions such as the Bellagio Fountains have made it a destination for celebrities and other visitors who want to be treated like royalty.