When you walk into a casino, it’s easy to get drawn in by the flashy decor, upbeat music, and enticing array of food and drink. You’re also enticed to spend your hard-earned cash on slot machines, table games, and other activities. This isn’t accidental – casinos are designed to make you feel good, and the methods they use to do that run far deeper than free drinks and comps.
In the early 90s, Richard Friedman developed a theory of casino design based on his observations that most casinos succeed by getting visitors to stay longer and come back more often. He theorised that the best way to do this was to remove all signs of time, like clocks and signage. This prevents people from realising they’ve been in the casino too long or need to leave for work. It’s a similar strategy to how grocery stores are laid out, and it’s proven to be effective at keeping customers engaged.
While some critics complain about Scorsese’s excessive violence in Casino, it reflects the reality of life on the edge of crime and corruption. It’s a movie about human tragedy, and it isn’t afraid to depict the brutality of the mafia, even when the audience knows these characters are wrong. In particular, Sharon Stone’s performance as Ginger is a master class in how to portray a woman who isn’t able to control her habits. She’s a smart hustler who knows how to seduce men, and she isn’t above using her skills for her own gain.