Casino – A Movie About Gambling



Casino is a movie about gambling, a place where champagne glasses clink and the roar of slot machines and table games can drown out the ominous noise of police helicopters hovering overhead. While people at a casino can vary in their goals and intentions, most have one thing in common – they’re having a great time! With music blaring and coins clinking, the atmosphere at a casino is upbeat, and while there may be some tutting when things don’t go your way, it doesn’t take long for the good vibes to come back around. Those who gamble for long periods of time are also rewarded with “comps” like free hotel rooms, food and drinks, tickets to shows and even airline and limo service.

Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci make for a compelling pair of antiheroes in Casino, but it is Sharon Stone who spikes the energy toward the end of the first act. As Ginger, a smart hustler who could keep a man awake for days, she represents the competing modes of understanding that are latent in this setting.

Casino is not only about gambling, but it’s also about the way Las Vegas reinvented itself from a mob-ruled desert town into a global tourist destination. It’s a story of ego and excess, corruption and exploitation, and of the many ways that human nature tempts us to cheat or steal our way into a jackpot. While musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels all help to draw in customers, casinos would not exist without games of chance – slots, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and poker all contribute to the billions in profits that casinos rake in each year.