Martin Scorsese’s Casino: A Snapshot in Time Image

Martin Scorsese’s Casino: A Snapshot in Time

By Film Threat Staff | September 11, 2022

In 1995 the revered film director Martin Scorsese made Casino. It is a crime film based on real events happening in Las Vegas during the 1970s. Consequently, gambling is a major theme in the film. Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci star as two mobsters attempting to oversee the daily running of a casino. Throughout the course of the story a conflict arises between the two main characters and the mafia. There are also numerous changes that occur within Las Vegas itself.

A Snapshot in Time

Casino gives viewers the chance to see what Vegas was like from the 70s to early 80s. It depicts casinos as brick and mortar establishments. The modern gambling industry has changed greatly in the last 40 years. For example, sports betters can get odds online for added convenience. There are numerous websites such as which help to enhance the gambling experience. During the era that Casino is set in people had a limited set of options. They had to frequent a building in order to play games. The one in the film is called the Tangiers Casino.

The set decorations for the Tangiers are designed to reflect the tastes of the era. Scorsese does a great job of avoiding anachronisms. Viewers can get a snapshot of working life within a casino during a period of transition. Robert De Niro plays Sam “Ace” Rothstein who is based on a real person. He is an expert gambling handicapper working for a criminal organization based in Chicago. The film details what it used to be like in a casino before online gambling changed the industry.

How Gambling Has Been Innovated

People still enjoy visiting Las Vegas as a tourist destination. It provides a fun novelty. However, the majority of gambling is now done via the internet. Great websites such as allow punters to have the best possible playing experience. The creation of online gambling has had a number of consequences.

One of the most important is the reduction in the need for large real world spaces. In the past the number of customers for a casino would depend on the capacity of the building. Digital spaces allow more people to play games and place bets. When the film Casino was made Scorsese would not have been aware of how online gambling would grow. In 1995 the internet was still largely in its infancy.

Cell phones were also rudimentary in design. The film takes place during a time when these devices were both rare and cumbersome. In modern times people can access the internet on them. This makes it possible to gamble practically anywhere with an online connection.

Martin Scorsese Films

Scorsese is well known for making movies based on crime stories. Prime examples include Gangs of New York and Goodfellas. He does not generally focus on the act of gambling itself. However, it is sometimes in the peripheral of the plot.

Therefore Casino stands out due to the prevalence of gambling. It is what drives the story forward. Ace has to keep the establishment running by making sure that the needs of the punters are met. Joe Pesci plays a “made man” called Nicky Santoro. He causes trouble at the casino which ends up affecting business. Much of the films tension is based on Ace trying to keep Nicky calm.

Over the decades De Niro and Scorsese have collaborated nine times. Casino is often hailed as one of their best efforts. It is a good companion piece to Goodfellas. Both films deal with the mafia’s relationship with gambling to varying degrees. They also feature great performances and intriguing stories.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our Film Threat Newsletter

Newsletter Icon