A casino is an establishment for gambling. In addition to the actual gambling rooms, casinos also contain restaurants and other entertainment venues. Some casinos are built on or combined with hotels, resorts, and/or cruise ships.
The word casino is derived from the Italian casona, which refers to a country house. The casino as we know it today began in the United States. The first gambling houses were established in New Orleans by French Creoles and German settlers. After Prohibition, casino games became popular in Las Vegas.
There is something about walking into a casino that is just luxuriating. The sweet smell of the place, the dazzling lights and the joyous sound of slot machines creates a manufactured euphoria that makes people want to stay longer and keep playing even if they are losing money. This isn’t by accident and it is a part of the psychological engineering that goes into the design of a casino.
Security is another big piece of this engineering. Every table, window and doorway has a security camera in it that can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons by security workers in a room filled with banks of monitors. Elaborate surveillance systems also provide an eye-in-the-sky view of the entire floor.
While it may not be a perfect movie, it does have a story that keeps you engaged and it features some excellent performances by Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci. James Woods is funny as a lowlife con-man and Vinny Vella is solid as the long-suffering Artie Piscano. But it is Sharon Stone that truly shines in this movie. It is truly unfair that she didn’t win an Oscar for her performance in this film.