In the days before Quentin Tarantino’s gangster epic Boogie Nights brought violent, profane crime back into fashion, Casino was a brash, slick movie about mob-run casinos that proved to be a bona fide box office smash. Based on a true story, the 1995 Martin Scorsese film stars Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci as a pair of low-level hoods who run an illegal casino in Vegas. With the help of a few other Goodfellas co-stars and director Scorsese’s trademark ferocity, Casino reimagines Sin City for a new generation, and like Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls two years later, it imagines a future in which gambling has replaced the smutty past as the primary pastime of suburban America.
Casinos generate a substantial amount of revenue for the cities and towns they call home. This is especially helpful when the economy in that region is struggling, as it allows local politicians to keep spending, avoid service cuts or tax hikes and still provide essential community services for residents.
But, even though casinos generate a lot of revenue for their communities, they aren’t without their problems. Some studies have shown that casinos have the potential to cause financial addiction for some people. Others have found that casinos hurt property values in the surrounding area.
Despite the obvious drawbacks, many communities welcome casinos because of their ability to bring in tax revenue and employment opportunities. For example, a casino in an economically disadvantaged neighborhood can create jobs and increase the average wage for locals. Casinos also help lower unemployment rates and increase the overall quality of life for the local population.