After a long day at work, a lot of people want to gamble their hard-earned dollars away for some fun. Casinos understand this and exploit it by tapping into a deeply rooted human desire for the thrill of risk, entertainment, and money. But it’s not just about the money, casinos also offer free drinks, food, hotel stays, and other perks that make patrons feel like they are getting their money’s worth. This can help them keep coming back even when they are losing money.
From the moment you walk into a casino, everything is designed to draw your attention and keep you gambling. For example, casino floors are intentionally labyrinthine. Instead of clear pathways from one section to another, the rooms are filled with curving paths that trick you into trying out a table or machine you wouldn’t have considered when heading in a different direction. Then there are the lights and sounds that are constantly blaring, signaling that you’re close to winning. It’s a strategy that works.
While some of the glamour in Casino comes from its dazzling scenery, the movie’s true star is its scheming protagonist. De Niro plays Ace as a principled old-school operator, but his refusal to divulge information about Nicky’s shady dealings shows that he isn’t quite the dashing underworld hero of the time. But it’s Stone who spikes the energy of the film, with a performance that builds on and inverts her fame from Basic Instinct.