A casino is a gambling establishment, usually combined with hotels, restaurants, bars and live entertainment. Some casinos also feature top-notch hotels and spas, shopping centers, cruise ships, and more. Casinos are usually designed to encourage players to play more by providing various perks and incentives such as free chips, merchandise, monthly mailers, loss rebates, or even airline tickets. However, they do not always offer the same perks to all players.

While they may look glitzy and glamorous on the outside, casinos are engineered to slowly bleed their patrons of cash. This is why some mathematically inclined people try to turn the tables and beat the house at its own game by using their knowledge of probability theory and game theory. However, the odds are stacked against you: the house has a much higher edge than the player.

The film Casino, directed by Martin Scorsese and adapted from the book Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas by Nicholas Pileggi, lays bare the complex web of corruption centered in Vegas with tendrils reaching into politicians, the Teamsters unions, the Chicago mob, and the Midwest mafia. While it is no Goodfellas, it is still an epic and entertaining story of greed and treachery. The movie also features a stellar cast led by Robert De Niro as Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal and Sharon Stone as the blonde hustler Ginger McKenna. They both deliver superb performances and help to make this a must-see movie.