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Casino – The Gambling Paradise

Casino – The Gambling Paradise


After the box office success of Goodfellas, Casino became a natural sequel. It didn’t just return to the familiar territory of organized crime in Sin City—it did so with a healthy dose of verisimilitude, laying bare an interlocking web of corruption that reached into politicians, unions, and mobs as far-flung as Chicago and Kansas City. But if the movie was a document of past criminality, it was also a vision of what a modern casino might offer: opulence, neon signs, and gamblers trying their luck at cards and slots.

A casino is a liminal space, not between Victoriannism and modernism but between organized crime and big business. Despite the fact that its roots are in shady street dealing, gambling is an increasingly legitimate form of entertainment in the United States and Europe. Investment banks run most of the new casinos, and they are wired to the point that statistical deviations from the expected stick out like a fifth ace.

Even with the best of intentions, casinos can be addictive places. The bright lights, flashy decor, and upbeat music create an adrenaline rush as players try their luck at card games, roulette wheels, and other games of chance. The alcohol flows, the champagne glasses clink, and the crowds mingle in an atmosphere of excitement. But the reality is that the odds are stacked against you. Unless you’re a professional card counter, it’s unlikely you will walk away with more money than when you entered the casino.