Whether you gamble on tables or slots, a casino’s atmosphere is intoxicating. It’s a place where champagne glasses clink and locals and tourists mingle. It’s a place where the sounds of clinking chips, laughter and the whir of slot machines create a buzz that’s hard to replicate anywhere else.
It’s no surprise that casinos are popular, even if gambling isn’t for everyone. In fact, it’s estimated that over 51 million people—or about a quarter of the population over 21—visited a casino last year. That’s almost double the number from 2001.
But what attracts people to these places? And how do they keep them coming back? The answer to both questions lies in the psychology of human motivations. Casino reveals that many of the elements that make up a casino experience are designed to trigger certain emotions in patrons. This includes the lighting, entertainment options and design details like curved paths that lure people into gaming sections they might have passed by previously.
What makes Casino stand out from other Vegas movies is that it doesn’t sugarcoat the city. Unlike other films that show a Vegas of partying and weekend getaways, Scorsese’s film lays bare the city’s origins and its dark past of organized crime. While it doesn’t shy away from showing avarice, treachery and violence, the movie manages to be a gripping thriller throughout its three-hour running time. While Robert De Niro’s performance is awe-inducing, it’s Sharon Stone who steals the show as Ginger McKenna.