A casino is a place where gambling activities take place. Casinos usually add luxuries like restaurants, free drinks, stage shows and dramatic scenery to help attract customers. But there have been more modest places that house gambling activities without all the extra bells and whistles.

As a business, a casino has many built-in advantages that ensure it will always win in the long run. This is called the “house edge.” It is very rare for a casino patron to walk away with more money in his or her wallet than when they entered. This is why casinos offer complimentary rooms, dinners and entertainment to their best players. Some even offer limo service and airline tickets to large bettors!

No other movie does such a masterful job of depicting Vegas life as Casino. It lays bare the city’s past ties to organized crime while showing its present glamour and opulence. It stars Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, completing a trilogy started with Goodfellas and Raging Bull.

While the movie is a bit lengthy, it never lags or runs out of steam. Martin Scorsese’s masterful editing and taut narration keeps this film a lean, mean thriller. There are no good guys in this story of treachery and avarice, but we do get to see some characters get their comeuppance at the end. Something about the environment of a casino seems to encourage cheating and stealing instead of just hoping for a random jackpot.