After the gangster drama Goodfellas made him a household name, Scorsese took a big gamble with Casino. Based on a true story of organized crime and the gambling industry, this bleak tale features stars Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci as rival mobster casino owners. The film delivers a brutal, gritty take on Vegas in the ’70s that is both evocative and depressing.

What makes a casino so compelling? Whether it’s the bright lights or the joyful sound of slot machines, casinos create a manufactured sense of happiness that encourages people to stay and play. They also use the sunk cost fallacy to make losses seem less painful—for example, a player will often follow a losing bet with an even bigger one.

The truth is that casinos don’t always win, and they certainly aren’t all profitable. The house always has a small edge on most games, and with expenses and taxes, it’s not a given that casinos will end up in the black.

As the gambling industry evolves, it’s important for marketers to keep up with changes in consumer behavior and develop strategies to appeal to new audiences. For instance, millennials are more likely to spend money on non-gaming activities like food, entertainment, and hotel accommodations, and augmented reality and virtual reality can offer intriguing ways to engage with gaming environments.

Casinos are perfect venues for events and group business, too, so it’s important to market those amenities as well. That includes top-notch hotels and event spaces, cutting-edge technology, luxurious spas and fitness centers, and delicious restaurants.