The casino has a house edge, and the more money you spend on a game, the more likely you are to lose. Casinos employ mathematicians and computer programmers whose work is to determine these probabilities, and to develop systems that can monitor for deviations from normal behavior. These systems include the dazzling array of cameras that watch every table, window and doorway. They are adjusted by casino employees in a separate room filled with banks of security monitors, and they can be programmed to focus on suspicious patrons. In addition, each slot machine has a built-in house edge that determines how often it will pay out.

Casino also offers a manufactured blissful environment, with opulent furnishings and lighting that create a euphoric mood. Many casinos also waft pleasant odors through their ventilation systems to keep patrons comfortable and coming back. This kind of marketing, combined with free spectacular entertainment and elegant living quarters, is known as enticement.

In Casino, De Niro and Pesci portray two men of different worlds. Ace aspires to be a principled, old-school operator; his refusal to help the FBI investigate Nicky is a gesture of independence that transcends the rough edges of wise-guy street life.

In contrast, Nicky is a calculating, unapologetic capitalist; she thrives on the profits of a system that has little regard for human beings. It is this dichotomy that makes the film compelling. It is a story about competing modes of understanding, much like the detective novel that emerged in a time of confident Victoriannism and epistemological tremors.