Casino – How Casinos Manipulate Their Patrons


A casino is a place where people can test their luck at games of chance. Today’s casinos add a host of extra features to attract gamblers, from stage shows and dramatic scenery to free drinks and restaurants. But a casino is still basically a large room filled with gambling tables and machines that are designed to keep you gambling as long as possible.

Casino focuses on the mobster world of Sam “Ace” Rothstein (Robert De Niro) and Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci). The movie is often violent, but Scorsese doesn’t use the violence for shock value or style. He faithfully depicts the world of organized crime that existed in Las Vegas during this time period.

The movie also demonstrates how casinos manipulate their patrons. For example, many casinos don’t put bathrooms near the entrance of the building. Instead, the bathrooms are located deeper into the casino, which forces you to walk past many more opportunities to gamble. Additionally, casinos often waft a pleasant scent throughout their ventilation systems and create a manufactured blissful experience. This can help keep you from feeling hungry or thirsty, so you’ll continue to gamble.

Another way casinos manipulate their patrons is by encouraging them to make larger bets than they can afford. This is called the sunk cost fallacy. When a player makes a big win on a slot machine, flashing lights and joyous sounds are played to create a sense of achievement. This is meant to trick the player into believing that they’ll soon hit a bigger jackpot and keep them betting.