A casino is a place where people gamble and play games of chance. Some casinos add luxuries like restaurants, hotel rooms and stage shows to attract customers and keep them coming back for more gambling fun. But even without all the flash and glitz, there’s something about these places that makes them so addictive. They trick us into spending more than we should, and they make us crave coming back again, despite the fact that the house always wins.
Casino is the sequel to Scorsese’s mob epic Goodfellas and stars two of that film’s stars, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. The two stars often appear in scenes together, but they have very different stories to tell. Ace is a smart, tough mob boss who knows how to run a casino and has a veneer of honesty that’s unusual for a gangster. But Nicky is a hood who’s out of control and lets his anger govern all of his decisions.
Casino is about the struggle between these two rivals for power over one of Vegas’ top casinos. It also looks at the larger conflict between organized crime and the legalized gambling industry. There are plenty of scenes of violence in this movie, including a torture-by-vice sequence and an edited, sound-designed baseball bat beating that had to be cut to avoid an NC-17 rating. But the film’s true underlying message is a warning about the dangers of gambling.