Casinos are designed to be exciting, fun places for people to try their luck at games ranging from poker to roulette. They are typically flashy, with lots of lights and upbeat music. People drink, dance, and talk to each other in a buzz of excitement while trying their luck at winning a jackpot or beating the odds on the next spin of the wheel. While it may not be possible to eliminate your losses, there are ways to reduce the house edge and improve your chances of having a winning streak.

While other movies set in Vegas only show the glamorous side of Sin City, Scorsese’s Casino reveals the dark underbelly of this gambling mecca. It lays bare an intricate web of corruption that ran through Las Vegas with tendrils reaching to politicians, Teamsters unions, the Chicago mob, and a Kansas City mafia ring. It also tells the story of how Vegas’ seedy beginnings gave way to glitz and glamour and huge casino corporations became the heart of the town.

Casino is one of the most intense, violent films ever made. But its portrayal of greed and avarice is authentic, as is its depiction of gang violence. Unlike some movies, which exaggerate the violence for shock value or style, Casino’s scenes involving the torture of De Niro’s character, the attempted murder of Sharon Stone, and Joe Pesci’s buried alive in a cornfield are all terrifyingly realistic.