Casino – The Dark Side of Vegas


Casinos are designed to be exciting places where people can let loose and enjoy themselves with the glitz, glamour, and entertainment options. They offer a wide variety of games that are based on skill and strategy like blackjack, poker, and roulette as well as the chance for an instant jackpot with a lucky roll of the dice or spin of the wheel.

The opulent decor, lights, and music of a casino create a manufactured state of euphoria that makes it hard to leave. The enticing smell of booze and food wafts through the air, creating a mood-enhancing combination that keeps patrons coming back for more.

But gambling is a dangerous game. Even if the odds are in your favor, you could lose more money than you can afford to lose. So how do casinos trick rational people — who work hard for their income and make reasoned financial decisions on a daily basis — into throwing hundreds or even thousands of dollars away based on the roll of a dice, the spin of a wheel, or the draw of a card?

No movie has ever done a better job of showing the darker side of Vegas than Casino. While it’s not as flashy or as over-the-top as Goodfellas, it lays bare the web of corruption that was centered in Vegas with tendrils reaching out to politicians, Teamsters unions, and Midwest mafia factions. It’s a hellacious film that contains some truly shocking violence, including a torture-by-vice sequence and an edited (but sound-designed) baseball bat beating that had to be cut to avoid an NC-17 rating.