It’s happened to everyone: You stride into the Luxor, Mohegan Sun, or Tropicana brimming with confidence and a wallet filled with cash. You plan on a bit of enjoyable, sensible gaming and maybe a couple rounds of cocktails. But a few hours later, you have no idea what time it is, how many drinks you’ve had, or what happened to your money. You’ve fallen victim to one of casinos’ most insidious tricks.

Casino is a movie that depicts a dark side of Las Vegas that many other movies do not. Rather than focus on the glitz of neon and the opulence of a casino, this film delves into the corruption and avarice that has infected this city. It lays bare the intricate network of mob ties that extend from the Chicago mafia to Teamsters unions and politicians in Nevada.

The casino experience is designed to be addictive. There is music blaring, coins clinking, and people mingling. While some tutting may occur when luck does not go their way, the overwhelming majority of players have a great time. Weekends are a busy time in most casinos, while weekdays offer a more quiet environment.

In addition to the music, lights, and physical design, casinos use a variety of psychological tricks to keep you gambling. Changing your money from cash to chips disassociates your emotions from the loss of real currency and makes it easier to increase your bets. Many casinos also offer reward programs that give you a meal or free hotel stay when you spend enough, further incentivizing gambling.