Imagine this: You stride into the Luxor, Mohegan Sun, or Tropicana with your wallet filled with cash and the best intentions of enjoying some enjoyable gaming and maybe two rounds of drinks. Hours later, you have no idea what time it is and you’ve spent more than you intended to. It’s no surprise that the casino’s designers keep you there for as long as possible, using sound, light, and physical design to lead you into spending more than you can afford to lose.

From the sounds of the games to the way casinos use scents, they’re all designed to make gambling as enjoyable and exciting as possible. The swishing of chips, the clink of glasses, and the happy chiming of slots create a feeling of euphoria that can be addictive. Even a small win can rekindle your hope and enthusiasm, making you want to gamble more, even when you’re losing.

The best way to avoid being sucked into the gambling vortex is to start with a set amount of money that you’re willing to lose and stick to it. Set boundaries for yourself and leave your ATM card in the hotel room so that you can’t take out more money to try and save what you’ve lost. It’s also important to dress appropriately when you visit a casino. Not only does this help you feel more confident, but it can also give you a sense of class and elegance that can help you keep from over-indulging in the casino’s many temptations.

While Casino is a movie that is primarily about gambling, it is much more than that. Scorsese’s film lays bare the huge web of corruption in Las Vegas, with tentacles reaching into government agencies, unions, the Teamsters, and the Chicago mafia. The violent scenes, from De Niro’s torture of a witness to the suicide of Sharon Stone to the buried-alive death of Joe Pesci’s Santoro, are shocking but accurate in portraying what really happened in Vegas in the 1980s.

Casino is an epic crime drama and an excellent example of how a filmmaker can bring a real-life event to the big screen with compelling detail and riveting storytelling. Although the movie is three hours long, it never lags or runs out of steam. And although it is one of the most violent movies Scorsese has ever made, the violence is always justified and serves a purpose. It keeps the story interesting and believable and allows audiences to understand the motivations of the characters. The acting is also top-notch, especially from De Niro and Stone. They’re both at the peak of their respective careers in this movie. They’re both able to convey the depravity and the humanity of their characters equally well. The movie is a must-see for anyone who loves crime stories. It’s also an excellent primer on the history of gambling and the evolution of the city of Las Vegas. The fact that this film is still a top contender 40 years after its release speaks for itself.