A casino is a building where people can gamble and play games of chance. While musical shows, lighted fountains, hotels and elaborate themes help lure patrons, casinos would not exist without the games of chance that generate billions in profits each year. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, baccarat and craps provide the thrill that drives people to gamble.
The film Casino tells the story of Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein (Robert De Niro), a mob-connected casino operator in Las Vegas. While he is trying to maintain a respectable life with his money-conditional wife Ginger, his old friend Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci) arrives in town with an agenda of his own.
In a brilliant opening sequence with deliberate echoes of Goodfellas’ Copacabana scene, we see Ace prowling the casino in a Steadicam and peering into its inner circle. In the money counting room, he counts millions of dollars in cash that has been skimmed from the till by mob-connected bookies. Ace then bungles the kickbacks, sending them to the Outfit bosses in Kansas City via Artie Piscano (Vinny Vella).
The feds soon catch up with Ace and his crew. He loses his house, the Gold Rush jewelry store and a warehouse. The feds also seize the Tangiers casino and arrest Philip Green, Artie Piscano and others in a raid that turns up nothing. They do, however, find Ace’s record books at the hotel, confirming his connection to the Outfit and eliminating the last vestige of his reputation as a legitimate businessman.