A casino is a gambling establishment that houses various games of chance and offers a variety of other activities to attract and retain customers. In addition to the games themselves, casinos offer a host of amenities and features like free drinks, stage shows, and luxurious scenery. While casinos are most commonly associated with the Las Vegas Strip, there are many more across the country and around the world.
The success of Goodfellas convinced Universal to sign Martin Scorsese up for a sequel, and Casino is the director’s take on organized crime in Vegas. Though he leans into the violence and profanity of his subject, Scorsese keeps the film a tight thriller throughout, never letting it bog down or run out of steam. And the performances from Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci are nothing short of legendary.
Casino has a few bravura set pieces, but its tone is less exuberant than rueful and carefully attuned to institutional systems of grift. The movie lays out an intricate, sprawling web that encompasses mob bosses and politicians, Teamsters unions and Chicago mobsters, Vegas casinos and the infamous Tangiers.
In the end, there’s one certainty about gambling: The house always wins. This is a fact that casino owners are well aware of, and they’ve designed their business models with this in mind. To maximize their profits, casinos comp loyal players with free hotel rooms, meals, tickets to shows, and even limo service and airline tickets based on their spending patterns. These benefits are meant to offset the built-in advantage of the house edge, and they help casinos make the most money possible.