Casino is Martin Scorsese’s most violent movie, and it shows. Scenes involving the torture of a man with a vice, De Niro’s character dying by overdose in a cornfield, and Joe Pesci getting buried alive all make for very tough viewing. But Scorsese didn’t use violence for shock value or style – it was a necessary tool in depicting the reality of mafia control over a desert city that was minting money by the billions.

Gambling has been a part of human civilization for millennia. Evidence of dice games dates back to 2300 BC, and cards became popular in the 1400s. Today, gambling continues to thrive and casinos continue to grow bigger and more complex. Modern casinos offer a variety of gaming options that range from slot machines to poker and everything in between. In addition to the usual security measures, some casinos employ technology to supervise their games. For instance, some slot machines have built-in microcircuitry that allows them to monitor the amount of money wagered minute-by-minute, while roulette wheels are electronically monitored to discover any statistical deviation from their expected results.

But there is one thing that all casino games have in common – the house always wins. Casinos trick otherwise rational people who work hard and make reasoned financial decisions on a daily basis into throwing hundreds or even thousands of dollars away based on the literal roll of a dice, spin of a wheel, or draw of a card.