Casino – The Gambling Industry Explained
Casino is an epic drama about the mafia’s takeover of Las Vegas and its aftermath. It lays bare the complex web of corruption that permeated Vegas, with tentacles reaching to politicians, union bosses and even the Teamsters mafia in Chicago. The movie also shows how big gambling corporations replaced the mafia in a desert city minting billions each year. The movie stars Robert De Niro and Sharon Stone in one of their best performances. Joe Pesci adds to the tension as mobster Santoro.
The gambling industry relies heavily on behavioral economics to encourage patrons to spend more money than they can afford. Casinos design their physical layout, color schemes and gameplay to create a particular atmosphere and psychological effect. They also use free drinks to make people tipsy, which is expected to lower their inhibitions and increase the likelihood of taking risks and making poor decisions.
Casinos also employ sophisticated technological measures to discourage cheating and protect their profits. For example, roulette wheels are regularly monitored for statistical deviations; chip tracking technology lets casinos know exactly how much money is being wagered on each table minute by minute. They also hire mathematicians and computer programmers to perform mathematical analysis on specific games, determining the house edge and variance (the degree of fluctuation in expected return). These figures enable them to accurately predict their profitability and plan their cash reserves. They also use reinforcers to increase the probability that a desired behavior will occur, such as continuing play or the purchase of merchandise.