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Quick Fact – Behind the Word “Casino”

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Kasino in Bern, Switzerland, 1914


A casino is a place that houses and facilitates various gambling forms, according to the English, but a casino or kasino is an officers’ mess hall to the Germans, Spanish and others.

In Italian, the language of origin, the word derives from casa (house) and translates to little house. Casino first referred to a small country villa, summer house or social club but later connoted a public, private or military recreational or meeting place for men. Today, casino refers to a brothel whereas a casinò (with the accent mark) is a gaming house.

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