The scent of cigarette smoke, the sound of coins clinking in slot machines, and the bright lights that promise you a slice of heaven if you play your cards right – these are all elements that come together to create a casino atmosphere that is truly intoxicating. Casinos have a knack for keeping people there for as long as possible – and this isn’t just due to comps like free drinks and gambling rewards programs. It’s because casinos have been carefully designed in a way that plays on the weaknesses of human psychology to keep you coming back for more.
After the huge success of Goodfellas, which ushered in an era of gangster films with violent and profane language, Casino was a welcome change of pace. Based on the non-fiction book Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas by Nicholas Pileggi, this was a movie that delved deeper into the origins of organized crime in Las Vegas than most movies did, exposing its ties to corrupt politicians, Teamsters union officials, and mob families from Chicago and Kansas City. It also featured the chemistry between Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, which would prove to be an invaluable asset for Scorsese’s next film.
Casinos are also popular with a variety of different audiences, from high rollers to regulars looking for that one big win. These visitors have a wide range of expectations and goals, but they all share one common trait: They’re having a blast! And with music blaring and the sound of coins clinking, it’s hard not to get caught up in the excitement.