A casino is a place that provides gambling activities and sometimes includes a hotel. People gamble by playing games of chance, and in some cases with an element of skill (like blackjack and poker). In most games the house has a mathematical advantage over the players, which is called the house edge. In addition, many casinos earn money by charging a fee to the players called the rake.

A crowded casino is a noisy and exciting environment. Its walls are decorated with bright and sometimes gaudy colors and its floors are covered in shiny plastic that is designed to make you forget about the cold, hard reality of losing your money. The clinking of coins and the music blaring from the machines add to the atmosphere, making it difficult not to get caught up in the excitement.

In the twentieth century, casinos became increasingly choosy about who they let in, and now the majority of their profits come from high-stakes gamblers. These gamblers play in rooms separate from the main floor and often have large bankrolls. They are often rewarded with comps such as free hotel rooms, dinners, show tickets or airline tickets.

While de Niro and Pesci give solid performances, it is Sharon Stone who adds the most to Casino with her portrayal of smart-talking blonde hustler Ginger McKenna. Much like Catherine Tramell from Basic Instinct, she’s a relentless motion machine who exults in her ability to keep men awake (“a girl like her can make a man stay for two or three days”). Scorsese also reveals himself as an ambivalent witness to the era’s hellacious violence, which includes a torture-by-vice sequence and a baseball bat beating that had to be trimmed for an NC-17 rating.