A casino is a place where champagne glasses clink and locals and tourists mingle, and it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement. But even though the main reason for people to gamble is to try their luck with classic table games like blackjack, poker and slot machines, casinos are also about community. And that means that there’s a lot of heavy drinking too. Booze lowers inhibitions and clouds judgement, and while there is some tutting when things don’t go your way, the good vibes of the crowd can often see people through the rough patches.
What’s more, casino employees are often trained to ignore the sunk cost fallacy and encourage people to continue betting. This is especially true if they see someone racking up points on their player card. It’s a clever strategy to keep gamblers playing and spending, and even when they’re losing big, the perks can make them feel like their time in the casino is still worth it.
Casino is one of the most epic history lessons about Vegas ever filmed, and the best part is that Scorsese doesn’t let the movie lag or run out of steam. De Niro shines as Ace, but it’s Stone who really steals the show. She is at once a smart hustler and a ruthless sociopath and her performance both builds on and inverts the character she played in Basic Instinct. She’s a force to be reckoned with, and even if you don’t love her, it’s hard not to root for her to win.