Casino (Movie Review)


Casino is a Martin Scorsese masterpiece that is a must-see for anyone interested in Vegas and the way it sprang up and then got buried under the corporate takeover of Sin City. It’s filled with dozens of sub-plots, tangent stories and brilliant side characters but it’s Sharon Stone who really owns the film – she was absolutely robbed at the Oscars for her performance.

The movie tells the story of a casino owner (Robert De Niro) trying to do things “the right way” while undercut by his hotheaded mob partner (Joe Pesci) and an ambitious woman (Sharon Stone) he shouldn’t trust. It also lays bare the intricate mafia-run gambling operations that ran in parallel with the seedy underbelly of Sin City.

In addition to the obvious security measures of cameras and guards, casinos employ a variety of other techniques to keep gamblers at their tables. For example, the dealers have high-powered lenses that allow them to see blatant cheating like palming and marking dice. There are also pit bosses and table managers who have a wider view of the tables so they can see any betting patterns that could indicate collusion.

Casinos also offer extravagant inducements to big bettors to get them to spend their money in their establishments. These include free spectacular entertainment, luxurious hotel rooms, reduced-fare transportation and complimentary drinks and cigarettes while gambling. These inducements can significantly increase a casino’s gross profit. However, it is important to remember that gambling is not a lucrative way to make money and people should never play with more money than they can afford to lose.