Casino, a gripping and entertaining look at the seedy world of casino gambling, is filled with the sights and sounds of this exotic and alluring industry. Glittering lights, music and the sound of coins clinking are enough to draw the attention of even the most jaded individual. Although casino patrons are a diverse group, they all share one thing in common: they are there to gamble.
While most casinos are open to anyone, security begins on the floor, where dealers and pit bosses watch each game with a close eye, able to spot blatant cheating such as palming or marking cards or switching dice. They are also aware of betting patterns that can signal a patron is trying to win more than he or she can afford. The entire casino is under surveillance by elaborate cameras in the ceiling and banks of screens in a room that monitors every table, change window and doorway.
While the film isn’t short on violence, Scorsese doesn’t use it for shock value or titillation. His characters’ actions and behavior are real-life, and while some of them may seem over-the-top (such as De Niro torturing a suspect with a vice and Joe Pesci being buried alive), they are all based on true events. In addition, the scenes of casino workers skimming money off the top of the tills are a direct reflection of the real-life practices of some casinos, which continue to do so today.