After Goodfellas took the country by storm, Scorsese followed up with Casino, a crime drama that reveals the inner workings of the gambling industry. This fact-based film lays bare an intricate web of corruption centered in Sin City, with tendrils reaching into politicians, the Teamsters unions, the Chicago mob, and the Kansas City mafia. The movie features a powerhouse cast, led by Robert De Niro as mafia boss Frank Rosenthal. Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone round out the top three.
Casinos are designed to entice people to gamble by creating an atmosphere that is noisy, loud, and exciting. There are no clocks visible on the walls, and the floors and ceilings are bright and often gaudy, with colors meant to stimulate and cheer people up. Waiters circulate to offer alcoholic drinks and snacks. Casinos also employ a variety of surveillance techniques, including hidden cameras and a “eye in the sky” system where security workers can watch every table, window, and doorway.
Studies have shown that the majority of casino gamblers are women who are in their forties, with above-average incomes. They have more vacation time and spending money than other adults, and they usually play a wide range of casino games. However, the amount of money they lose to the house edge and to compulsive gambling can easily offset any profits they may make. For this reason, many casinos are struggling to stay in business. Some are even losing ground to Internet gambling sites.