Casino – More Than Glitz and Glitz


When you think of casinos, you probably picture dazzling lights and rows of slot machines. However, these establishments have a lot more going on than meets the eye. Every detail is carefully designed to entice people into gambling, even though the house always wins in the long run. From scented oils to hypnotic lighting, discover how casinos manipulate patrons and make them crave coming back, despite losing money.

While many movies only scratch the surface of Vegas, Casino digs deep into the city’s history with organized crime and its ties to glitz and glamour. De Niro’s performance as gangster Don Santoro is the standout, but Sharon Stone and Joe Pesci also deliver. The movie is based on a book by Nicholas Pileggi, which he co-wrote with the film’s director Martin Scorsese.

The movie’s true-to-life events give a compelling picture of the way mob money flowed into Las Vegas in the 1950s. But the mobsters weren’t satisfied with simply providing the cash. They became personally involved, took full or partial ownership of casinos, and used their influence to influence the results of certain games.

Mob money also gave rise to a new class of investors who were willing to invest big bucks in casinos. Real estate investors and hotel chains saw the potential to make big profits. Eventually they had more money than the mobsters, and they started buying out mob-controlled casinos. Today, the mob does not control casinos, but legitimate businessmen do not want to be associated with their criminal past.