Casino – The Movie About Gambling Organized Crime
After the box-office success of Goodfellas (which itself tapped into a vein of criminal violence and corruption) director Martin Scorsese turned his attention to organized crime in the gambling industry with Casino. Based on the nonfiction book by Nicholas Pileggi, the movie focuses on the rise and fall of Las Vegas casinos and their ties to the mob. With a screenplay that includes the words of a mafia boss and the acting prowess of Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, Casino is a brutally effective portrait of greed, treachery, and murder, but it also has an undeniable sense of humanity in its depiction of how characters deal with their own flaws.
Gambling is a highly addictive activity. Many individuals with gambling addictions spend hours at a time playing games like poker and slot machines, escaping into the euphoria of the game and not caring whether they win or lose. Casinos are designed to lull patrons into this trance-like state, with flashy decor and upbeat music.
Casinos also have a high level of security, with casino employees constantly keeping an eye on all of the tables, windows, and entrances to spot any suspicious behavior. Cameras in the ceiling provide a “eye-in-the-sky” view that can be focused on particular patrons and adjusted for different situations. These cameras are supplemented by monitors in a separate room where workers can watch the gambling action. In addition, most casino games are mathematically designed to give the house an edge over players.