What Is a Casino?

The casino is a world where champagne glasses clink, people talk in hushed tones and the buzz of the crowds creates an energy that’s hard to beat. The sound of slot machines rattling the reels is intoxicating and it’s easy to lose yourself in the flashy surroundings and the possibilities of hitting the jackpot. But what is a casino really?

Gambling is commonplace and widely accepted in American society. A recent study found that 85 percent of Americans felt that casinos made a positive contribution to the communities in which they operate. While some individuals have pathological gambling problems, most Americans consider gambling a legitimate form of entertainment and fun.

Casino is a fascinating movie because it reveals the truth behind what happens in real casinos. Many movies only show the glamour of Las Vegas and the opulence of neon signs, but this Scorsese film dives deeper, revealing how casinos were once a haven for organized crime. It also shows how a mob controlled the city and how tendrils of corruption reached into politics, unions and even Chicago’s Midwest mafia.

While the violence in Casino is shocking, it’s important to remember that all of it happened to real people and was not fabricated for the film. The torture of a man using a vice, the attempted murder of De Niro’s character (by a car bomb), and the death by overdose of Sharon Stone’s character were all tragic real-life events that took place at the time.