After Goodfellas broke through the mob film genre and paved the way for millennial directors like Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese and his star, Robert De Niro, set out to build upon it with Casino. Adapted from the non-fiction book by Nicholas Pileggi, it lays bare an intricate web of corruption that centered on Las Vegas and extended to politicians, Teamsters unions, the Midwest mafia, and more.
The casino is a place of flashing lights, upbeat music, and endless opportunities to press your luck. The excitement is infectious and it is easy to see why so many people love it. However, there is one thing about casinos that many people fail to consider – the sunk cost fallacy. When a person makes a losing bet, they often follow it up with an even bigger bet based on the notion that their initial loss was a mistake and this new bet will make things right.
The reality is that every bet a patron makes in a casino has a mathematical expectancy of winning or losing, so it is very rare for them to lose more money than they can afford to spend on games. To offset this expected profit, casinos offer players free rooms, drinks, meals, shows and other extravagant inducements, referred to as comps.