Whether they’re filled with slot machines, card tables or horse-racing screens, casinos are lively places to get drunk, try your luck and gamble away your money. Booze lowers inhibitions and clouds judgment, so it’s freely served to patrons at the poker table, at a roulette wheel or in front of the television screens showing sports events. The jukebox plays nonstop music and the bright lights and sounds of excitement help distract players from their mounting losses.

Casino is a hugely competitive business. Once a casino gains some traction, it faces competition from newer, fancier and closer competitors as well as from on-line gambling, private gambling and even illegal gambling operations. But casinos aren’t just about making money, they are also about creating a place that people want to visit and spend their time.

A huge variety of games is a good way to attract and keep players. Many people start with simple, easy to play games like slots and roulette that don’t require much strategy or skill. As they gain experience, they can move on to more complicated games, like blackjack or poker. The more they win, the more their confidence will grow, which leads to bigger bets and greater losses.

Few movies are as bleak and honest about the dark side of Las Vegas as Martin Scorsese’s Casino. Its story of greed, corruption and violence may be over the top in some ways, but it rings true to life. There are no real heroes in the film, and the characters’ avarice and treachery are almost believable.