Whether you’re playing a game of chance or a slots machine, the odds are that the house will win in the long run. That’s the fundamental business model casinos rely on to make money. They don’t just offer a place to gamble—they sell an experience that’s difficult to walk away from. The sights, sounds, and physical design are designed to keep you gambling for hours on end.
The bright lights and the clinking of slot machines create an intoxicating atmosphere. The scent of perfumed oils wafts through the ventilation system to accentuate this manufactured bliss. Even the sounds of cheering players are designed to create an intoxicating soundscape that’s hard to step out from. Casinos also use near-misses in their slot machines to keep players occupied with the machines, even when they’re losing.
Many casinos offer free meals and hotel stays to their biggest customers in order to encourage spending. These amenities allow people to skip out on their basic needs in order to continue gambling, thus making them more susceptible to the effects of addiction.
Martin Scorsese’s Casino features a great cast led by De Niro and Sharon Stone. They each give outstanding performances, but it’s Stone who spikes the movie toward the end of the first act with her captivating portrayal of the blonde hustler Ginger McKenna. Her ability to hold and at times guide the camera’s gaze is nothing short of amazing. Scorsese’s direction is masterful throughout, and the movie remains a tight, lean thriller from start to finish.