Casino – More Than Just a Game
There’s no other movie that does such a fine job of capturing the feel and excitement of Las Vegas casinos than Martin Scorsese’s Casino. The film is a thriller through and through and, despite its lengthy runtime, never lags or runs out of steam. De Niro and Sharon Stone both give remarkable performances and Joe Pesci adds a measure of menace to his role as the gangster Santoro.
When it comes to gambling, most of us think of slot machines and a few other table games. But there is a lot more to the casino experience than that. It is an incredible social space with a palpable energy that can make even the most jaded person take a step back and marvel. Casinos are also a source of significant revenue for many localities, giving them the money they need to invest in important services and avoid raising taxes elsewhere.
In the past, mob-run casinos grew so large that they needed to be protected by security forces. However, as real estate investors and hotel chains began to see the potential profits they could make with casinos, they bought out the mobsters and took control of the businesses.
Security is a huge part of the casino business. Employees keep their eyes peeled for blatant cheating like palming, marking or switching cards and dice. They also follow certain patterns when dealing, shuffles and betting that can help them spot suspicious behavior. In addition, most casinos have a strict no-smoking policy and do not display clocks on their walls to make sure that people aren’t spending more time than they should.