Origin of the word casino

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The origin of the word casino has an interesting story. When people think of casinos, there may be a picture of large buildings in Las Vegas. Full of colorful lights that give a glow to the city all night. The large halls full of tables, slot machines and people who seek happiness and tension.

Maybe you think of the movie Casino from Martin Scorsese. The hectic and glamor that belongs to a billion -dollar industry. In general, there is logically thought of an opportunity where you can gamble. Few people will think of a house in Italy when you hear the word casino. Yet the origin lies here.

The definition of Casino

The definition of the word casino is according to the Van Dale: "Opportunity for games of chance. " It is therefore not surprising that for many of us a casino immediately has a connection with gambling. However, there are also etymological dictionary in which the origin of words are described. Van Veen and Van de Sijs released one in 1997. The word casino says the following. "casino [gebouw voor gokken, feesten] {1824} < italiaans casino [huisje, lusthuis, speelhuis], verkleiningsvorm van casa [huis] < latijn casa [hut, huisje, optrekje].’

A dictionary from 2009 from Philippa et al. Mentions the first use of the word in texts. The text is Casino dei Nobili in Florence From 1775. This is suddenly a lot of information to process and that is why the origin in segments follows here.

A side room

The side room of a theater used to be one in Italy reduced named. There was a lot of gambling in these side rooms. The first casino in 1638 was to one reduced named and was given the name The reduced. This could be found in the San Moisè Palace in Venice. The special thing about this is that it was approved by the government.

However, the casino was not really accessible to the average people. This was because of the strict clothing instructions that were required for everyone. As a result, only rich people came in who could afford the expensive clothing. The bets were also usually on the higher side. It was not exactly a place for the people.

The reduced

Because there was a lot of money in the casino The reduced Was the bankruptcy of people a common problem. For example, a number of respectable families came into money problems. There was therefore gradually more resistance The reduced. Allegedly, more and more false was played and rougher people came in. The reduced Also lost the support of the government over time.

The story goes that even the city council of Venice had been a little too enthusiastic about gambling. They too had little money left. 32 years after opening The assert closed again. So it would have been the first casino, but that still doesn't explain the name. After all, we don't call gambling houses reduced's.

Gambling in the house

In the time that The reduced There were, of course, there were more gambling opportunities. However, these did not have the privilege of being legal. The people also came from lower classes where the elite prefer to stay away from. The well -to -do bourgeoisie were about 1750 looking for new places to gamble. They quickly found these places close to home. In the house, a garden house, or a second house in the countryside. It is around this time that the word casino came about.


A small house where there was an opportunity to gamble became one casing named. The plural of this is Casini. These gambling opportunities were mainly managed by women. It didn't take long before men also started doing the same thing.

They often rented or bought a place in the city and started a club there. Not only for gambling, but also for entertainment or a good discussion you could go to the club. These soon got the name noble casin. So here is also the word casing in. The question now is how it is Casini nasty Casino went.


the difference between Casini in Casino Is that one word is feminine and the other male. Something that influences the spelling in the Italian language. The men's clubs became more and more popular. It was a place for music, drink, talk and of course a lot of gambling. The casing van noble casin So changed to Casino. Later it became known under the short name, without of the nobles. The word casino was at the end of the 18e century generally used in Italy. However, it took a while before the exclusive connection with a gambling opportunity came. The connection that we know today.

De Casa in Casino

So far it is clear that Casino is the male version of the plural of the word casing. But where is the word casing from? This is derived from the Italian word Casa, that house means. It is therefore logical that the word is derived from the word for home. Many of these gambling opportunities could be found in Huizen. The word Casa According to linguists from Northern Europe, the Romans himself would have been taken along. They put the origin in the Celtic language. The Roman word for (country) house is after all domus.

The word Casa They would have reserved the wooden houses they found in Gaul. In Spain, that also the word Casa Kent, an investigation came out in 2012. This research also explains the origin at the Celts. Together with Greek they would have influenced the Iberian language. Iberisch has traditionally been spoken in Spain and Portugal.

The rise of the casino

After the word casino in Italy became a known concept, it gradually spread to the rest of Europe. The meaning they had for the word was different from what we have now. An English dictionary from 1800 described it as next. "A club-house or public building on the continent, provided with rooms for social meetings, music, dancing, billiards etc.’

A casino was therefore best known as a clubhouse or a rural location. This corresponds to the former Italian meaning. The Encyclopedia Britannica of 1849 only mentions the card game of the same name under Casino. The 1923 Oxford Dictionary does not make the connection with gambling. They give the definition that it is a summer house in Italy. Only later was the gambling at the word casino.

A military casino

In addition to a clubhouse, Casino was also known as a military term. Grassi came in 1833 with a military dictionary stating that it is a tower. The following piece of text can be found here.

"A round or polygonal tower, made of bricks or wood, which was usually placed on the extreme corners of fortifications. As a result, the sentry who was inside was able to look into the ditch and around it through some meshes that were cut into pieces at eye level. Nowadays we mean by casino every small round tower, square or polyhoek, usually made of wood, which serves as a shelter for a sentry.’

A meaning other than the usual description. An agreement is that it is still a building. Although not much will be gambled.

A gambling opportunity

It cannot be determined with certainty when the word casino got the current meaning. USA took the floor in the language in 1850. The description they had was that of a club or village house. Sometimes they used it to indicate a theater as was the case with it Cadet Casino in Paris. The Casino de Monte-Carlo had its opening in 1863. But this was also a place where more happened than just gambling. There was a theater, restaurant and numerous meeting places in the building.

The Sun King

The popularity of the gambling opportunities therefore did not go unnoticed by the American. This is how it aroused the interest of Lodewijk XIV, which we know better under the name "De Zonnekoning". The story goes that he did like to take a chance. The basement of his palace was converted in 1785 into a gambling facility with several rooms. Spell as roulette, Baccarat and Blackjack were played with enthusiasm. As a result, gambling gained a lot of popularity among the American nobility. Something that later spread throughout the country and further through Europe.

Club in Casino

So it seemed for a long time that a casino indicated more of a club than an opportunity to gamble. Of course gambling came for it, but that was not the association that many made with the word. For example, the English held on to the term clubhouse for these occasions for a long time. In the 20e century the name Casino to refer to gambling opportunities started. This gained popularity by Italian immigrants who introduced it in the United States.

The modern casino

Nowadays we know casinos as occasions where you can gamble. But certainly in cities such as Las Vegas, it has still retained some status of clubhouse. Although this is in an extreme form. The casinos there often have theaters, restaurants and other spectacle pieces. Just think of the roller coasters that you can find on roofs.

So there they set an experience that goes beyond gambling. Of course not every casino knows this luxury and glamor. The club content is often limited to just gambling. That is why the association that most have that of an opportunity for games of chance is.


The origin of the word casino is therefore in Italy. In the male version of the word casing. This is again based on the word Casa, that the origin knows from the Celtic language. It means hut or house and that is why it is not surprising that casinos were mainly known as clubhouses.

Around 1750 people came home to meet. They talked, drunk and also gambling. However, it took a long time before the word casino with gambling would be associated. This happened when Italian immigrants spoke to America. Since then, the word casino has been inextricably linked to gambling.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the origin of the word casino?

If you go far in time you will come to the Celtic word Casa. However, this sounds more Spanish or Italian. That is because the Romans took over the word to indicate a hut in Gaul. Casa Is the origin of the Italian word casing. This is the name for a house in which gambling opportunities were organized, mainly by women (Casini). The men started their own clubs and used the male version of the word Casini. So these occasions were named Casino.

Where did the casino originate?

Nowadays, casinos are fiercely associated with gambling. In the beginning, however, they were more known as clubhouses. The word casino was the name that Italians gave to these clubhouses. In the year 1638 there was the first casino called in Milan The reduced. However, it was not yet called a casino. Later gambling opportunities were created in Huizen. In Italy these became known as Casin of the nobles. Casinos came from this. Although it was mainly a clubhouse at the time.

Is the word casino Italian?

The word casino has its origins in Italy. It is based on the Italian word for home: Casa. According to linguists, the Romans have taken over this word from the Celts from northern Europe. The word Casa was in the word casing used. This indicated an opportunity to gamble in a house. The male version of the plural of casing Is Casino. This was used to indicate the clubhouses that the Italian men started. Later the lake was associated with an opportunity for gambling.

Is a casino the same as a gambling house?

A gambling house is one American Synonym for Casino. The Van Dale gives the definition: "Opportunity for games of chance. " Traditionally it was also a place to meet people and have a conversation. The association with gambling came later when Italian immigrants brought it to the United States. Gokhuis is a word that reflects the current association with gambling.

Where can you find casinos?

Wherever gambling can and may be, you can in principle find a casino. It is an opportunity to play games of chance. This does not have to be a huge building as we know them from Las Vegas. Thanks to the internet they can also be found at home, on the screen. Online casinos are more popular than ever and offer all the games that you expect from casinos.