When you walk into a casino, the first thing you see is flashy lighting and shiny decor. You hear the sound of coins clinking in slot machines and see people laughing and mingling. The place has a buzz that is almost intoxicating. While there may be a little tutting if the dice don’t roll the right way or when someone doesn’t win, on the whole it’s an upbeat crowd – one that is ready to gamble their money away.
The precise origin of gambling is unknown, but it has been a popular pastime throughout history. There is evidence of dice games in ancient Mesopotamia, and gambling crazes swept Europe in the 16th century. The modern casinos are built around the idea of creating a euphoric experience through dazzling lights, music and the scent of pure excitement. These are designed to keep customers playing and encourage them to gamble more.
Gambling has been around for centuries, but the modern casino as we know it began to develop in the United States during the 19th century. The first Las Vegas casinos were owned by mobster families, but as the industry grew larger hotel chains and real estate investors began to take interest in casino operations. With federal crackdowns and the possibility of losing a casino license at the slightest hint of mob involvement, legitimate casinos soon moved to stay away from the mafia.
Martin Scorsese’s Casino is an epic crime drama that depicts the seedy side of Las Vegas and its past ties to organized crime. The movie features an amazing cast including Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone and Joe Pesci. The violence in the film is shocking at times, but it is never gratuitous and is faithfully portrayed from the perspective of these true-life characters.