Casino (film)

1995 film by Martin Scorsese

Casino is a 1995 crime drama film that tells a tale of greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two best friends: a mafia enforcer and a casino executive compete against each other over a gambling empire, and over a fast-living and fast-loving socialite.

Directed by Martin Scorsese. Written by Nicholas Pileggi and Martin Scorsese.
No One Stays At The Top Forever (taglines)

Sam "Ace" RothsteinEdit

  • When you love someone, you've gotta trust them. There's no other way. You've got to give them the key to everything that's yours. Otherwise, what's the point? And for a while, I believed that's the kind of love I had.
  • No matter how big a guy might be, Nicky would take him on. You beat Nicky with fists, he comes back with a bat. You beat him with a knife, he comes back with a gun. And you beat him with a gun, you better kill him, because he’ll keep coming back and back until one of you is dead.
  • In the casino, the cardinal rule is to keep them playing and keep them coming back. The longer they play, the more they lose. In the end, we get it all.
  • [voice over, while observing a blackjack cheat] You can spot these assholes by watching the way they bet. Like this guy. He's betting lavender chips at five hundred each with only one little problem: He's always guessed right. If he wasn't so fuckin' greedy, he'd have been tougher to spot. But in the end, they're all greedy.
  • [To a cheater] Alright, I'm going to give you a choice: You can either have the money and the hammer, or you can walk out of here. You can't have both.
  • In Vegas, everybody's gotta watch everybody else. Since the players are looking to beat the casino, the dealers are watching the players. The boxmen are watching the dealers. The floormen are watching the boxmen. The pit bosses are watching the floormen. The shift bosses are watching the pit bosses. The casino manager is watching the shift bosses. I'm watching the casino manager. And the eye in the sky [the CCTV cameras] is watching us all.
  • We all have a past! You have a past, I have a past, and my past is no worse than yours, but you guys think you have the right to pass judgment on me!
  • Meeting in the middle of the desert always made me nervous. It's a scary place. I knew about the holes in the desert, of course, and everywhere I looked, there could have been a hole.
  • Normally, my prospects of coming back alive from a meeting with Nicky were 99 out of 100. But this time, when I heard him say "a couple hundred yards down the road," I gave myself 50/50.
  • [to Ginger, about her and Lester planning to run away with Amy] Yeah, but I've been told that before, "We're working it out." You think that you're home... after what you just put me through with Amy, is a favor to me? So, counting the watch, let's say another four thousand for expenses over the weekend... of which you must have had a good time. I know he did. That's for sure. I know that... fuckin' piece of shit had a good fuckin' time. On my money. You might as well have fucked him, which you probably did anyway. (Ginger glares at him) You're lookin' at me a certain way. You - you're teary-eyed, huh? You're upset. You're a good actress, you know that? Good fuckin' actress. You can fuckin' get that pity out of people. I'm not a john, you understand? You always thought I was, but I'm not. And I'm not a sucker. That fuckin' pimp cocksucker. He's lucky I didn't kill him last time. Lucky he's fuckin' livin'. And if you would've stayed with Amy... and you would've ran away... you would've been fuckin' dead. Both of you. Dead. Dead.
  • After all the threats and all the bullshit, it turned out Ginger didn't tell 'em anything. But by then, the Feds didn't need her, anyway. They had all the pieces they needed. And everybody began to tumble, one after the other... just like dominoes. Between Piscano complaining on a wire. Between Nicky, Ginger, me and my license... paradise... we managed to really fuck it all up.
  • After Ginger took off, she wasn't much help to anybody. She found some pimps, lowlifes, druggies and bikers in L.A.. And in a few months, they went through all the money and all the jewels. After they found her body, I hired a private doctor to do another autopsy. He said they gave her a hot dose. In the end, all she had left was $3,600 in mint-condition coins.
  • No matter what the feds or the papers might have said about my car-bombing, it was amateur night - and you could tell. Whoever it was, they put the dynamite under the passenger side. But what they didn't know - what nobody outside the factory knew - was that that model car was made with a metal plate under the driver's seat. It's the only thing that saved my life. The bombing was never authorized, but I suspect I know who lit the fuse, and so did the powers that be.
  • The word was out. The bosses had enough of Nicky. They had enough. How much were they gonna take? So they made an example of him and his brother. They buried them while they were still breathing. They had other ideas for me.
  • The town will never be the same. After the Tangiers, the big corporations took it all over. Today, it looks like Disneyland. And while the kids play cardboard pirates, Mommy and Daddy drop the house payments and Junior's college money on the poker slots. In the old days, dealers knew your name, what you drank, what you played. Today, it's like checking into an airport, and if you order room service, you're lucky if you get it by Thursday. Today, it's all gone. You got a whale show up with four million in a suitcase, and some 25-year-old hotel school kid is gonna want his social security number. After the Teamsters got knocked out of the box, the corporations tore down practically every one of the old casinos. And where did the money come from to rebuild the pyramids? Junk bonds. But in the end, I wound up right back where I started. I could still pick winners, and I could still make money for all kinds of people back home. And why mess up a good thing? And that's that.

Nicky SantoroEdit

  • [About the bosses] These old greaseballs may not look it, but believe me, these are the men who secretly control Las Vegas, because they managed the Teamsters Union. The Teamsters Union was who you had to go to in order to borrow money to build a casino. And no one got approved for a loan from the Teamster's pension fund unless these guys in the room knew they were going to get their little suitcases.
  • They had so much fucking money in there, you could build a house outta stacks of $100 bills. And the best part was that upstairs, the board of directors didn't know what the fuck was going on. I mean, to them, everything looked on the up-and-up, right? Wrong! The guys inside the counting room were all slipped in there to skim the joint dry. They'd do short counts, they'd lose fill slips. They'd even take cash right outta the drop boxes. And it was up to this guy, right here, standing in front of about 2 million dollars, to skim the cash off the top without anybody getting wise — the IRS, or anybody. Now, notice how in the count room, nobody ever seems to see anything. Somebody's always looking the other way. Now look at these guys. They look busy, right? They're counting money. Who'd want to bother them? I mean, God forbid they should make a mistake and forget to steal. Meanwhile, you're in and you're out, past the jack-off guard, who gets an extra C note a week just to watch the door. I mean, it's routine, business as usual — in, out, hello, goodbye — and that's all there is to it. Just another fat fuck, walking out of the casino with a suitcase. Now that suitcase was going straight to one place: right to Kansas City, which was as close to Las Vegas as the Midwest bosses could go without getting themselves arrested. That suitcase was all the bosses ever wanted, and they wanted it every month.
  • [about Anthony Dogs' interrogation] To be truthful with you, I had to admire this fucking guy. He was one of the toughest Irishmen I ever met. This son-of-a-bitch was tough. For two days and two fucking nights, we beat the shit out of this guy. I mean, we even stuck ice picks in his balls, but he never talked. In the end, I had to put his fucking head in a vise.
  • Listen to me, Anthony. I got your head in a fucking vise. I'll squash your fucking head like a grapefruit if you don't give me a name. Don't make me have to do this, please. Don't make me be a bad guy; come on.
  • Charlie M? Charlie M?? You make me pop your fucking eye out of your head to protect that piece of shit?! Charlie M?! You dumb motherfucker!!!
  • I think that you've gotten the wrong impression about me. I think, in all fairness, I should explain to you exactly what it is that I do. For instance, tomorrow morning I'll get up nice and early, take a walk down over to the bank, walk in and see and uh, if you don't have my money for me, I'll crack your fucking head wide open in front of everybody in the bank. And just about the time that I'm coming out of jail, hopefully, you'll be coming out of your coma. And guess what? I'll split your fucking head open again, 'cause I'm fucking stupid. I don't give a fuck about jail. That's my business. That's what I do. And we know what you do, don't we, Charlie? You fuck people out of money and get away with it. Hey, you fat Irish prick, you put my fucking money to sleep. You go get my money or I'll put your fucking brain to sleep!
  • You know I'm trying to put something really big together out here. You know what I'm talking about, huh? You know! If you're acting like this now, how can I depend on you?
  • You know, I don't wanna bring this up, but you've been treating a lot of people with a lot of disrespect, even your own wife.
  • [Watching the FBI plane overhead while golfing] What the fuck is this? Where's this fucking guy gonna land, in the fairway? They're fucking agents, Frankie, look at this! $100 for whoever hits the plane.
  • [Chewing out Sam in the Nevada desert] You said I'm bringing heat on you? I gotta listen to people because of your fucking shit?! You're ordering me out? You better get your own fucking army, pal!
  • [Chewing out Sam in the Nevada desert] Get this through your head, you Jew motherfucker, you! You only exist out here because of me! That's the only reason! Without me, you, personally - every fucking wiseguy skell around will take a piece of your fucking Jew ass! Then where you gonna go? You're fucking warned! Don't ever go over my fucking head again, you motherfucker, you!
  • I used to send Marino back home with a piece of what I made. Not a big piece, but what did they know? They were 1,500 miles away, and I don't know anyone who can see that far.
  • [To Frank Marino, realizing how far he's gone with his affair with Ginger] I've fucked up, Frankie. I fucked up real good this time. I should never have started with this fucking broad.
  • [After Andy Stone is murdered by two men as he is walking to his car] As much as they liked him, he wasn't one of us. He wasn't Italian. As far as they knew, he could've talked. Otherwise, Stoney might still be alive. The first one to skip was John Nance. He found a nice warm secluded place in Costa Rica. He thought nobody would find him there, but then his kid got nabbed by the Feds for drugs. And so, naturally, the bosses were afraid he'd come out of hiding just to save his kid and give 'em all up. So... [The same two men come behind a bleeding John Nance and shoot him in the head] But anyway they, you know, they all had to follow. Everybody went down. Before you knew it, anybody who knew anything wound up getting whacked.
  • It took months for everything to calm down. But finally, my guys got out on bail and the bosses wanted me to send my brother Dominick out to Vegas. Always the dollars. Always the fucking dollars. I mean, it was still way too hot for me to even go near Vegas, so I set up a meeting with the guys way out in the sticks. I didn't want my brother to get fucked around. I mean, what's right is right. They don't give a fuck about— [Frankie hits him from behind with a baseball bat]


  • Commissioner Webb: Mr. Rothstein, you people never will understand the way it works out here. You're all just our guests, but you act like you're at home. Let me tell you something, partner: you ain't home, but that's where we're gonna send you if it harelips the Governor. Thank you for your time.
  • Paige Novodor: Good evening, everyone. I'm Paige Novodor. What should've been a routine licensing hearing turned into bedlam yesterday when the flamboyant Tangiers Casino executive, Sam "Ace" Rothstein, accused the state's top gaming officials of corruption and hypocrisy. In a wild and unprecedented outburst that followed his gaming license denial, Rothstein followed several stunned commissioners into the hallway, where he continued his harangue until his own lawyers and friends urged him to leave.
Sam Rothstein{on tape}: I have a past, you have a past, and my past is no worse than yours. But you think you have the right to pass judgment!
Paige Novodor: Long suspected of running the Tangiers without a gaming license, yesterday's hearing was to determine whether someone with Rothstein's checkered personal history was qualified to officially hold a top gaming post.
  • Frank Marino: [Narrating, when asked by Remo if Nicky's having an affair with Ginger] What could I say? I knew if I gave the wrong answer — I mean, Nicky, Ginger, Ace — all of 'em could wind up getting killed. Because there's one thing about these old-timers: they don't like any fucking around with the other guys' wives. It's bad for business. So I lied. Even though I knew that by lying to Gaggi, I could wind up getting killed too.


Ace Rothstein: [narrating] Before I ever ran a casino or got myself blown up, Ace Rothstein was a hell of a handicapper, I can tell you that. I was so good that when I bet, I can change the odds for every bookmaker in the country. I'm serious. I had it down so cold that I was given paradise on earth. I was given one of the biggest casinos in Las Vegas to run: the Tangiers, by the only kind of guys that can get you that kind of money. Sixty-two million seven hundred thousand dollars. I don't know all the details.
Nicky Santoro: [narrating] Matter of fact, nobody knew all the details. But it should have been perfect. I mean he had me, Nicky Santoro, his best friend, watching his ass. And he had Ginger, the woman he loved, on his arm. But in the end, we fucked it all up. It should have been so sweet, too. But it turned out to be the last time that street guys like us were ever given anything that fuckin' valuable again.

[A man dressed like a cowboy is playing blackjack, his boots off and his feet up on the table]
Ace Rothstein: [To Billy] I don't give a shit who he's connected to. Tell him to take his fucking feet off the table. What does he think this is, a goddamn sawdust joint?
Billy Sherbert: [Goes to the cowboy] Sir, would you mind taking your feet off the table and put your shoes on, please?
Cowboy: Yeah, I would mind. I'm having a bad night.
Billy Sherbert: [Goes back to Ace] Fucking asshole won't budge.
Ace Rothstein: Call security. [Goes to the cowboy as Billy goes to the phone] How are you?
Cowboy: Good, how are you?
Ace Rothstein: Good. Want to do me a favor, you want to take your feet off the table and put your shoes back on?
Cowboy: Fuck you!
[Ace, after a moment, walks away and goes to the gathered security officers]
Ace Rothstein: I want you to exit this guy off the premises, and I want you to exit him off his feet and use his head to open the fucking door.
Security officer #1: [Walks up to the cowboy] Sir, you're gonna have to leave. You mind coming with us outside?
Cowboy: Bullshit, I ain't going anywhere.
Security officer #1: [Pulls his feet off the table as another officer grabs the cowboy from behind] Bullshit, you're outta here!
Cowboy: [Struggling] Fuck you! Fuck you! You know who you're fucking with, huh?! Do ya?! [To Ace] You fucking faggot! You know who you're fucking with?! Leave me alone!
[Two security officers pick up the cowboy and carry him to the door, using his head as battering ram to open the door]
Ace Rothstein: [Narrating] Sure enough, an hour later, I get the call.
Nicky Santoro: [Talking to Ace on the phone, the cowboy in the background with Marino] Ace, what happened over there? I mean, did you know that guy you threw out was with me?
Ace Rothstein: No, I didn't know that, but you know what he did?
Nicky Santoro: No. [Gives the cowboy a look]
Ace Rothstein: He insulted Billy, then I walk over to him politely, and he tells me to go fuck myself.
Nicky Santoro: What?
Ace Rothstein: Then he called me a faggot, so what do you think I did? I threw that cocksucker out.
Nicky Santoro: Wha-Ho-ho- [To the cowboy] Hey, come here. You called my friend a faggot, you told him to go fuck himself?
Cowboy: I-I didn't-
Nicky Santoro: Is that what you did, tell him to go fuck himself? [Hits him in the face with the phone] You fucking hick! You fucking hick, you! [Ace hears Nicky continue to beat on the cowboy over the phone] Come here, come here! Get him up. Come here. [Marino helps the cowboy up] You go over there right now and you apologize. You better hope he lets you back in. If you ever get out of line there again, I'll smash your fucking head so hard, you won't be able get that cowboy hat on, you hear me? Fucking hick. [Goes back to Ace on the phone] Sammy, listen, this guy obviously doesn't know who he was talking to, you understand? He doesn't know that, uh, we're dear friends. I mean, he's already very sorry, but, uh, if you could do me a favor: let him back in, I swear to you, he'll never get out of line again, I promise you that.
Ace Rothstein: If he does it again, he's out for good. I don't care what it is, Nick, I'll never let him in the place again.
Nicky Santoro: I'm sorry about this, really. Alright, Ace? Thanks, pal. [Hangs up the phone, turns to the cowboy] You took your boots off, you put your feet on the table? You shit-kicking, stinky horse-manure-smelling motherfucker, you! You fuck me up over there, I'll stick you in a hole in the fucking desert, you understand? [Slaps the cowboy] Go over there and apologize!

Ace Rothstein: I just want to run a square joint. That's it. I just want my license. I want everything nice and quiet. That's it.
Nicky Santoro: You mean, quiet like this? [holds up a magazine] "I'm the boss." That's quiet?
Ace Rothstein: That's all taken out of context. I have no control over that. Ronnie and Billy were right there. They'll tell you exactly what happened.
Nicky Santoro: Well, back home they don't know about fucking control. That looks bad.
Ace Rothstein: Looks bad? I'm going to tell you what looks bad. Every time you're on television, I get mentioned. That looks bad. That looks bad!
Nicky Santoro: What the fuck happened to you? Will you tell me?
Ace Rothstein: What happened to me? What happened to you? You lost your control.
Nicky Santoro: I lost control? Look at you! You're fucking walking around like John Barrymore! A fucking pink robe and a fucking cigarette holder? I lost control?

Remo Gaggi: What is he going to do now?
Andy Stone{sighing}: I don't know.
Remo Gaggi: What in the world was he thinking, ranting and raving on like that? He knows all those guys he yelled at are friends of ours.
Andy Stone: Maybe he could run things with a different job title. Would not be the best, but hey, what can we do?
Remo Gaggi: So long as he is quiet; let him hide out in his office, call himself a janitor, I do not give a shit! But...whatever job he takes, make sure it is something quiet!
Strauss' instrumental from a famous film plays as scene cuts to Tangiers
Trudy: Ladies and gentlemen, the Tangiers Casino proudly presents the all-new Sam Rothstein show, Aces High!

[Ace meets with Andy Stone late at night, after Ace is denied a license to operate the casino and the bosses back home grow angry about his TV show and continued attacks on the Nevada gaming board]
Ace Rothstein: First of all, what they did was totally unconstitutional. We're on the list to be heard before the Supreme Court of the United States--
Andy Stone: [interrupting] These guys don't give a fuck about the Supreme Court! They want you to walk away.
Ace Rothstein: Walk away? Andy, you can't be serious. How can I walk away? Don't you see what's at stake?
Andy Stone: The old man said "maybe your friend should give in". When the old man says "maybe," that's like a papal bull. Not only should you quit, you should run.

Nicky Santoro: Where the fuck do you get off talking to people about me behind my back, going over my head?
Ace Rothstein: What people?
Nicky Santoro: What people, d'ja think I wasn't gonna find out?
Ace Rothstein: I don't even know what you're talking about Nick...
Nicky Santoro: No? You said I'm bringing heat on YOU? I gotta listen to people because of your fuckin shit? You're orderin' me out? You better get your own fuckin' army pal!
Ace Rothstein: I didn't do anything, I mean, I didn't order you or anybody. I only told Andy Stone that you had a lot of heat on you and that was a problem.
Nicky Santoro: You want me to get out of my own fuckin' town?
Ace Rothstein: Yeah I said l-let the bullshit blow over for a while, so I can run the casino. Anything goes wrong with the casino it's my ass. It's not yours, it's my ass!
Nicky Santoro: Oh I don't know whether you know this or not, but you only have your fuckin' casino because I made that possible. I'm what counts out here, not your fuckin' country clubs or your fuckin' TV shows! And what the fuck are you doing on TV anyhow? You know I get calls from back home every fuckin day, they think you went bat-shit!
Ace Rothstein: I'm only on TV because I got to be able to hang around the casino. You understand that, you know that, come on.
Nicky Santoro: You fuckin' ass! You coulda had the food and beverage job without going on television. You wanted to go on TV!
Ace Rothstein: Yeah I did want to go on TV. That way I have a forum, I can fight back, I'm known, people see me; they know they can't fuck around with me like they could if I was an unknown, that's right, yeah!
Nicky Santoro: You're making a big fuckin' spectacle of yourself!
Ace Rothstein: Me? I wouldn't even be in this situation if it wasn't for you. You know, you brought down so much fuckin' heat on me, I mean every time I meet somebody the big question is, do I know you?
Nicky Santoro: Oh sure now you wanna bring your fuckin' license on me, is that it?
Ace Rothstein: No, Nicky, when you asked me if you could come out here, what did I tell you? I mean you asked me and I know you were gonna come out no matter what I said, but what did I tell you? Do you remember what I told you? Do you remember what I told you?
Nicky Santoro: Back- Back up, back up a fuckin' minute here. One minute. I asked you? When the fuck did I ever ask you if I could come out here? Get this through your head, you-
Ace Rothstein: You never-
Nicky Santoro: Get this through your head you Jew motherfucker, you! You only exist out here because of ME! That's the only reason. Without me, you, personally, every fuckin' wise guy skell around'll take a piece of your fuckin' Jew ass! Then where you gonna go? You're fuckin' warned. Don't ever go over my fuckin' head again. You motherfucker, you.

Nicky Santoro: I told you this was fucking dangerous. Remember I said, "Ginger, this is a dangerous situation, be very careful," you fucking yes me to death.
Ginger: If it's so fucking dangerous, then why don't you kill him?
Nicky Santoro: Kill him. Shut the fuck up, you don't know what you're talking about.
Ginger: Well then, have him killed, and get it over with.
Nicky Santoro: Hey, don't be such a fucking smart ass, will ya! I known the guy 35 years! I'm gonna fucking whack him for you?

Nicky Santoro: [voiceover] Now for the best, and I couldn't believe this shit. Piscano's expense reports took the cake.
FBI Agent 1: [looking through Piscano's expense reports and books] Oh, this is good. Bingo.
Nicky Santoro: [voiceover] He might as well have given them a fuckin' blueprint. Everybody's names, addresses, dates, everything.
FBI Agent 1: Look at this! Thank you so much, Mr. Piscano. How considerate of you. We appreciate it.
Artie Piscano: [weakly] Those are my — those are my mother's books.
FBI Agent 2: [begins handcuffing Piscano] You're under arrest.
[as he is handcuffed, Piscano has a heart attack and collapses on the floor]
Nicky Santoro: [voiceover] What a fuckin' balloonhead.

Nicky Santoro: [voiceover] When the bosses were arrested, some of 'em were so old that they needed doctors at their arraignment. But when it looked like they could get twenty-five years to life just for skimming a casino, sick or no fuckin' sick, you knew people were gonna get clipped. So, the day of the arraignment, they had this meeting right in the back of the courthouse. See, when something like this happens, you know how things are gonna work out; It's always better with no witnesses. So what about Andy?
Vinny Forlano: He won't talk. Stone's a good kid, straight-up man just like his father. That's the way I see it
Vincent Borelli: I agree. He's solid. A fuckin' Marine.
Americo Capello: He's okay. He always was. Remo, what do you think?
Remo Gaggi: (pause) Look...why take a chance? At least, that's the way I feel about it.


  • No one stays at the top forever.
  • Luck has nothing to do with the games they play.
  • They had it all, they ran the show, and it was paradise...while it lasted.
  • Don't Push Your Luck.
  • Winner loses all.


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