Casino – An Unflinching Look at the Gambling Business


In a world where gangster movies and mob-inspired dramas dominate Hollywood, Casino is a breath of fresh air. It takes an under-reported and more complex look at the origins of Las Vegas casinos. With a cast that includes Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, the movie delivers an unflinching look at the gambling business – both the good and the bad.

Modern casinos are a lot like indoor amusement parks, with musical shows, restaurants and shopping centers all luring people in to spend their money. But they’d be nothing without the games of chance that give them their billions in annual profits. Slots, roulette, blackjack and craps provide the thrill and excitement that draw in gamblers.

Something about the money seems to encourage people to cheat or steal, rather than trust their luck to win a jackpot. To counter this, casinos spend a great deal of time and effort on security. This starts on the floor, where casino employees keep a close eye on patrons to make sure they’re not cheating or using crooked dice. Casinos also spend a lot of money on sophisticated security technology, including video cameras and sensors that can spot any anomalies.

But for all the attention given to security, casinos are still a place where people can lose large amounts of money, and in some cases their lives. This is why many casinos have a “no-win” rule and offer other inducements to big bettors to keep them playing, such as free spectacular entertainment and luxury transportation, reduced-fare hotel rooms and perks like food and drinks while they play.