casino or cassino (both: kəsēˈnō) [key]. 1 Card game played with a full deck by two to four players. Its origins are obscure though it probably traces back to the Italian game of Scopa. It is a very scientific game, though playing with more than two persons reduces the strategic possibilities. Four cards are dealt to each player, and four open cards are dealt to the table. Through techniques known as building and trailing, players attempt to take the greatest number of cards (counting three points); the greatest number of spades (counting one point); the ten of diamonds, or big casino (two points); the two of spades, or little casino (one point); and the aces (counting one point each). The game ends after all the cards of the deck are dealt in successive hands of four cards each.
2 A physical establishment in which various games of chance are conducted. Many casinos are also resort hotels, such as those in Monte Carlo, Las Vegas, and Atlantic City. Due to gaming regulations in some states, casinos are sometimes built as riverboats on bodies of water (most of these casinos are actually stationary barges in artificial lakes that are connected to rivers). In 1998, U.S. casinos had $24.3 billion in revenue. Since the late 1980s casinos have been built on many Indian reservations (see under gambling). The world's largest casino is the Foxwoods Resort Casino (Ledyard, Conn.), owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Nation. Opened in 1998, the casino has 6,000 slot machines and 350 gaming tables, plus hotels, restaurants, and retail shops. Other reservation casinos include the Shakopee Mdewakanton Dakota's Mystic Lake Casino (Prior Lake, Minn.), the Mohegan Sun casino (Uncasville, Conn.), the Oneida Nation's Turning Stone (Verona, N.Y.), and the many Pueblo-run casinos in New Mexico. Revenues from Indian-run casinos represented two fifths of all U.S. casino revenues by 2004.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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