What Is a Casino?


Generally speaking, casinos are gambling halls that house a wide variety of games of chance. The most common casino games include slots, blackjack, roulette and poker. Some casinos add a plethora of other luxuries like restaurants, stage shows and dramatic scenery, but any place that offers betting on games of chance can be called a casino.

While many casino-related movies barely scratch the surface of Las Vegas and its weekend partying and opulence, Scorsese’s Casino digs deep. He lays bare the city’s past ties with organized crime while showing us the glitz, glamour and neon signs that make up Vegas’ appeal.

Robert De Niro is outstanding as Sam Rothstein, the casino’s top croupier, and Sharon Stone’s performance of hustler Ginger McKenna is one of her best. Joe Pesci’s role as sleazy gangster Santoro is also memorable. Casino’s plot has so much going on that it never lags or feels slow.

Modern casinos employ sophisticated security technology to ensure the integrity of games and to prevent cheating. For instance, some tables have electronic systems that monitor the exact amount of money wagered minute by minute and to discover any deviation from expected results. Cameras with an “eye-in-the-sky” function watch every table, window and doorway to provide a sweeping view of the entire casino at any given moment. These are just some of the tools that casinos use to safeguard their customers’ experience and maintain a high profit margin. In addition, patrons who place big bets are often rewarded with complimentary gifts like free hotel rooms, dinners and show tickets.