The Magic of a Casino

Imagine you stride into a twinkling casino, wallet in hand, ready to do a little gambling and perhaps two rounds of cocktails. Hours later you have no idea what time it is or how much money you’ve spent, but the fun keeps going. This is the magic of a casino – every aspect of it, from lights to sounds to physical design is engineered to lead you into spending more than you intend to.

Gambling in its various forms has been a part of human life for millennia, with evidence of dice dating back to 2300 BC and playing cards arriving in 800 AD. While some people gamble with the intent to win a fortune, others do it for the thrill of taking that one big bet or a nice rush when a bet goes their way.

Regardless of their intentions, most gamblers share the same desire to have a good time. That’s why casinos are so loud, with music blaring and coins clinking, creating a high-energy atmosphere that is hard to resist. And then there’s the drinks – booze is served nonstop to patrons at tables, machines and bar areas. The booze lowers inhibitions and helps lubricate the brain to make betting even more exciting.

Martin Scorsese’s Casino is a masterful account of the gambling world. Unlike most movies that portray Vegas as an oasis of partying and weekend getaways, Casino digs deep into the seedy underbelly. It lays bare the intricate web of corruption centered in Las Vegas that had tendrils reaching into politicians, labor unions, the Chicago mob and Midwest mafia gangs. The movie also stars Robert De Niro at his best, giving a riveting performance as ruthless casino owner Frank Santoro. Sharon Stone is also on hand as Ginger McKenna, bringing her trademark sex appeal to the role.