You might have heard of the movie Casino, which came out in 1995. It might be a little old, but it is still a crime-thriller worth watching for any fans of casinos and gambling. Directed by the famous Martin Scorsese and starring the likes of Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone and Joe Pesci, it remains one of the most celebrated casino-related movies today.
But did you know that it’s actually based on a true story? That’s right – most of the things you saw on the big screen actually played out in real life! Maybe not exactly the same way, but nobody wants to ring up the mafia and ask them for such details.
What Did The Movie Show?
Back in the 70s and 80s, many casinos in America were run by the mafia. It was a lawless time, as gambling establishments were illegal. As you know, the Mafia were fully willing to use brutal measures to make money.
The story opens with Sam Rothstein (De Niro) being assigned to run a casino, the Tangiers. His job was to simply keep things running smoothly and ensure that the mafia reaped the profits.
Other characters are a part of the casino or the mafia, such as Ginger (Sharon Stone), a stripper with whom Sam gets entangled with, and Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci), another member of the mafia assigned to protect Sam.
In Casino, viewers get to watch the brutality of the mafia and their encounters with the law. Ultimately, things come to a head and only a few of the characters make it out alive.
So, the big question on everyone’s minds is, did everything depicted in the movie really happen?
What Really Happened?
Most of the events in the movie are actually true! Yes, many of the incidents where people were brutalized and murdered actually happened. It’s an unfortunate reality of living a life of crime.
While the names are different, there are real-life equivalents to almost every character in the movie. Sam and Ginger, who in real life were known as Frank and Geraldine, did have a relationship just like in the movie.
Nicky, knows as Tony Spilotro in reality, actually did get banned from every single casino in Nevada after a heated argument with the Gaming Control Board.
Sam, the main character, is as imposing a figure in reality as he was in the movie. He really did survive a car bombing, host a reality TV show, and live past the events of the movie until passing away at the ripe old age of 79.
Spot The Differences
Not every single detail will line up between real-life and the movie. A few of these differences are for the sake of dramatic effect, while others are because there wasn’t enough information at the time.
If you loved the movie, you can check out Nicholas Pileggi’s Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas. This book was written based on a true story, and the movie was adapted from the book.
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