After the box office hit of Goodfellas, Universal was quick to sign Martin Scorsese up for another mob drama based on non-fiction. Casino is a smaller, more focused movie than its predecessor, but it’s no less epic in scope. It delves deep into the mafia world of Las Vegas, exposing its tentacles into politics, the Teamsters union, and Midwest mafia factions. It also stars Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, completing a Scorsese-De Niro partnership that began with Raging Bull.
Casino is also notable for its focus on the casino as a psychologically manipulative environment. The casino’s lighting, color schemes, and decor are designed to trick your sense of time and place. The windows are coated with tint that blocks out the sunlight, and the rooms are lit with colors that mimic natural light. The curving paths between gaming tables are meant to catch your eye as you wander through the casino, and the games themselves are set up in a way that makes them difficult to resist.
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the gambling experience, but it’s important to remember that the odds are stacked against you. The best thing you can do is set a budget before entering and stick to it. That way, if you lose more than your limit, it won’t be tempting to try to “chase your losses” or make up for lost money with additional gambling. It’s also helpful to play with chips instead of cash, so you don’t feel the sting of your losses as much.