In a casino, money is the currency and winning or losing is left to chance. But, despite the fact that casinos are built to make the house always win in the end, there is still a lot of excitement and fun to be had while gambling at these glitzy establishments. From the flashing lights of Las Vegas to the illegal pai gow parlors of New York City, casinos are everywhere and attract 1000’s of people per day who gamble their hard earned money on the hope that they will become rich overnight.
But, besides the fact that casinos are designed to make customers spend their money and crave coming back for more, the reason why casinos can lure so many people in to gamble their money away is because of how addictive it really is. There are a number of psychological tricks and designs that casinos use to entice patrons to keep playing, even when they know they will lose their money.
The movie Casino is a perfect example of the kind of film that Martin Scorsese does so well. It lays bare the intricate web of corruption that was centered in Las Vegas, with tendrils that touched politicians, labor unions and mobs (especially the Midwest mafia based out of Chicago). The movie has a great cast (including Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci and De Niro) but probably what makes it so good is the dichotomy of the two dominant narrators. Henry Hill’s brash and bombastic narration is contrasted with the more measured and soothing voice of Karen (Lorraine Bracco).