Underneath the glitz of flashing lights, free cocktails and blaring music, casinos are built on a bedrock of mathematics that’s designed to slowly bleed patrons of their cash. Despite this, gambling is not only legal in most states, it’s incredibly popular and widely accepted as socially acceptable. In fact, 85 percent of Americans feel that gambling is okay – or at least not a problem – for them and others.

Fortunately, there are ways to avoid losing your money at the casino. First, decide how much you’re willing to lose and stick to that number. Second, make sure you understand the rules of each game before you play. Using strategies, such as card counting or dice rolling, can help you improve your chances of winning. And finally, practice your time management skills. It’s easy to continue playing after a big win, but walking away keeps your dopamine levels at bay and makes you more likely to keep your winning streak going.

Casino is an epic crime drama that lays bare the mafia’s control of Vegas in the 1980s and explains how gambling corporations eventually took over the city. It’s also one of Martin Scorsese’s longest movies, but through masterful editing and taut narration it remains a lean, mean thriller throughout.