• Mon. Sep 25th, 2023
The True Events Behind the Film "Casino" – BetMGM

The characters of Rothstein and Santoro are based on actual people: Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal and Anthony “Tony the Ant” Spilotro.

The Real Rothstein

The character of Rothstein is based on Frank ‘Lefty' Rosenthal. In reality, Rosenthal did run four casinos for the mob, including the Stardust. His skills and innovation transformed the of sports gambling, and he was indeed known for running one of the most sports books.

Rothstein's downfall in the movie, like Rosenthal's in real life, was due to his association with Santoro, a reckless enforcer causing chaos in Las Vegas.

The scene where Rothstein survives a car bomb assassination attempt is based on a real attempt on Rosenthal's life in 1982. The car Rosenthal was driving at the time of the explosion had been made to withstand such an attack — a feature that saved his life.

Remarkably, Rosenthal never held a license. He cleverly circumvented this by taking a as the casino's entertainment director, which was a role that didn't require a gaming license but gave him the to run the casino.

Despite his numerous illegal activities, Rosenthal was only ever officially tied to one criminal act — his arrest for attempting to bribe a college basketball player.

The Real Nicky Santoro

Anthony ‘The Ant' Spilotro, the real-life Nicky Santoro, was a made man (one of the lowest members of a crime family, similar in position to a soldier) in the Chicago Outfit. He was sent to Las Vegas to protect the mob's interests and was notorious for his violent and volatile nature.

In an interesting twist, while the movie portrays his brother as an accomplice, in truth, Michael Spilotro was just a small-time player in organized crime, not the partner-in-crime he's depicted as being in the film. Michael's main role was running a restaurant in Chicago.

The scene where the Santoro brothers are brutally beaten in a cornfield is shockingly accurate. The real Spilotro brothers met a similarly gruesome end, and were discovered in an Indiana cornfield in 1986.

The movie also accurately illustrates the mob's influence over the casino industry during the 70s and 80s, highlighting dark truths like the mob's violent methods of handling debtors and the corrupt system of skimming money off the top of the casino's profits.

Just as “Casino” gives audiences an intense look at the real-life events and characters of the mob-driven Las Vegas gambling world, it's also interesting to explore the reverse — how such influential films shape the culture and perceptions of online casinos and gambling.

Where To Watch “Casino”

With its intricate plot, outstanding performances, and stark depiction of the casino world, “Casino” is a must-watch ready to be streamed on or Amazon Prime Video. For those who prefer purchasing or renting films, it's available on Google Movies & TV and Apple's iTunes store. If you're fascinated by the history of gambling and casinos, this classic casino film will give you a true-to-life glimpse into their complicated past.

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