Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas
A casino is a public place where people come to play games of chance, such as roulette, poker, blackjack, and slot machines. They also offer food, drinks, entertainment and other amenities that appeal to gamblers. While some casinos add extravagant luxuries such as stage shows and dramatic scenery, all are intended to make people feel good. While some people may tut at a bad beat, others will keep coming back for the excitement and fun.
Most of the time, patrons do not win as much as they lose in a casino. This is because the house always has a mathematical advantage over every game offered, and it is very rare that a patron can overcome this expected loss. For this reason, casino gaming is very expensive to operate. In order to maximize profits, most casinos offer generous comps to their patrons, which are free goods and services based on the amount of money they spend at the casino. These may include restaurant meals, hotel rooms, show tickets, limo service and airline tickets. Casinos also have a high percentage of repeat business, which can be helped by encouraging guest satisfaction through reviews and social media mentions.
In contrast to the sanitized and family-friendly Las Vegas depicted in movies such as Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls and Boogie Nights, Casino exposes the seedy underbelly of Sin City. The movie traces an intricate corruption web that includes politicians, the Teamsters union, and mobs centered in Chicago and Kansas City. The movie is based on the investigative non-fiction book Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas by Nicholas Pileggi, who co-wrote the screenplay with Martin Scorsese.
The film stars Robert De Niro as Ace, a stoic gangster who is trying to clean up his crime empire before the FBI gets him. Though he is a seasoned professional, he refuses to cut any deals with the feds and insists on his own version of fair play. In one scene with deliberate echoes of Goodfellas’ Copacabana sequence, Scorsese glides the camera around the back rooms of a major casino with hidden entrances. We see the inner workings of a gambling operation, from the rigged roulette wheel to the money counting room, where skimming off the top is an art form that Ace countenances as long as the kickbacks go to his bosses in Kansas City.
Despite the fact that most people who visit casinos are not professional gamblers, they can still be quite a lucrative source of revenue for the gaming industry. This is because, unlike professional gamblers, the majority of casino visitors do not intend to win big. They just want to have a good time with friends, and for that reason, the entertainment sector of the casino industry is very important. In addition, a great deal of marketing must be focused on pursuing events and group business, because this type of clientele tends to generate higher margins than individual play. This is why many casino marketing campaigns are designed to feature celebrities, popular artists and events that attract large audiences of repeat clients.