With all the scandals and heists that have rocked casinos, it’s no wonder that these glamorous and dangerous venues are popular settings for movies. These sexy and ballsy films have us rooting for the underdog, but they also expose the ways that casinos often take advantage of players.
Casino’s early sequences evoke the style of Paul Verhoeven’s Goodfellas, with Ace gliding through closed doors in a Steadicam, navigating a world where skimming the till is an art form. But Scorcese is less intoxicated by the spectacle of gambling and more attuned to its shady underbelly, as demonstrated by a graphic torture-by-vice scene that includes a popped eyeball and a baseball bat beating that had to be trimmed to avoid an NC-17 rating.
Like Basic Instinct, Casino reveals the seductive power of a smart hustler. The movie elevates Sharon Stone to the level of a star and gives her a role that both builds on and inverts her reputation as a femme fatale. Her sexy and sensual performance is unnerving, even as it’s impossible to look away.
A casino’s marketing needs to go beyond the gaming floor, focusing on amenities, events and other factors that differentiate it from competitors. For example, a casino that offers luxury hotel rooms with cutting-edge technology, flexible event spaces and award-winning spa and health club amenities should optimize content and use proximity marketing to target guests looking for these kinds of experiences. This is especially helpful for casinos that are competing with hotels and other events centers within walking distance.