After the slick success of Goodfellas, the mafia-themed Casino made sense as the next step for director Martin Scorsese. He reteamed with star Robert De Niro and co-writer Sharon Stone for this 1995 drama adapted from the nonfiction book Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas by Nicholas Pileggi.
The film follows Sam “Ace” Rothstein (De Niro), a Jewish American gambling expert and handicapper hired by the Chicago Outfit to manage the Tangiers casino in Las Vegas. He’s a hard-working family man who marries streetwise chip hustler Ginger McKenna and has a son with her, but his relationship with her suffers after he takes on Mafia boss Nicky Santoro’s debt-defaulting crew.
When you’re gambling at a casino, it’s important to stay focused and remember that the house always wins. This means you need to set a budget and stick to it, no matter what game you are playing. You also want to avoid the temptation of comps (free hotel rooms, dinners, show tickets and limo service) offered to players who gamble for long periods of time and spend a lot of money.
Critics claim that casinos are harmful to the community because they divert local entertainment dollars from other businesses; cause people to miss work to gamble; and reduce property values in surrounding neighborhoods. They also argue that the cost of treating problem gambling addicts negates any economic gains a casino brings to a town. Some communities have banned casinos, while others endorse them.