The word casino has evolved to denote all sorts of different things, but at its core, a casino is a place where games of chance are played and gambling is the main activity. Modern casinos are designed to provide a variety of pleasurable experiences and offer more than just gaming facilities. They often feature prime restaurants and beverage services and performance venues where pop, rock and jazz artists come to play.
A casino’s goal is to encourage people to gamble and stay at the venue for as long as possible. The longer they stay, the more money a casino makes. Guests also enjoy the experience and feel safe and secure. This is why casinos employ security and other staff members to make the place as safe and comfortable as possible.
Casinos use a variety of tricks to keep people gambling. For example, they waft scented oils throughout their ventilation systems to create a manufactured sense of pleasure. They also use “comps,” or complimentary items, to keep people at the tables and slots. These can include food, drinks and limo service. Casinos also skim cash from their machines to increase revenue.
Scorsese’s ambivalence about these practices is evident in some of Casino’s truly hellacious violence, including a torture-by-vice sequence and a baseball bat beating that had to be trimmed to avoid an NC-17 rating. Nevertheless, the movie’s depiction of Sin City as a dystopian hellscape resonates to this day.