The modern casino is a lot like an indoor amusement park for adults, but the billions of dollars in profits raked in each year come from gambling, not musical shows, lighted fountains and restaurants. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette and other games of chance give patrons a thrill that keeps them coming back for more.
Casino is Martin Scorsese’s brilliant take on the seedy world of casino gambling and it features a wonderful pairing of Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci, both of whom are in top form here. James Woods and Vinny Vella are also excellent in supporting roles but it’s Sharon Stone who truly carries the movie with her brilliantly authentic performance. She was completely robbed at the Oscars when she didn’t win an Oscar for this role and it really is a shame.
In addition to the high stakes gamblers, casinos have a steady stream of lesser bettors who are “comped” for their play in the form of free spectacular entertainment, transportation and elegant living quarters. The more a casino patron plays, the better they are considered to be and comps are offered based on time spent gambling and the amount of money gambled.
Security is a large part of a casino’s job and it starts on the floor where dealers focus with laser-sharp attention on their own game and can quickly spot blatant cheating such as palming, marking or switching cards and dice. Pit bosses and table managers have a broader view of the casino and keep an eye on betting patterns that may indicate cheating or stealing.