A casino is a place where gamblers risk their money to win money. It’s a business that depends on keeping people gambling as long as possible, and to do so it has to make the experience enjoyable and enticing. Casinos offer a range of entertainment options including restaurants, shows and bars. They also have a variety of games that can be played. These include video poker, blackjack and roulette. In the 21st century casinos use a variety of techniques to lure customers into gambling, such as wafting scented oils throughout the ventilation systems and using the joyful sound of slot machines to create a manufactured state of bliss. They are also known for rewarding high rollers with expensive comps and giving them a private gambling area.

The modern casino is a vast indoor amusement park for adults, but the bulk of its revenue and profits come from gambling, not musical or fountain displays. While other forms of entertainment like hotels, restaurants and shopping centers draw people in, the billions in casino profits are generated by the millions of players who gamble on slots, baccarat, poker, keno, craps and roulette each year.

Casino, like Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls a few years later, is a movie about the twilight of an era, a world that’s being swept away by a tide of gentrification and corporate blandness. Yet Scorsese’s vision of the past is less a celebration than a rueful acknowledgment of its rigours and failures.