True events on which the Movie Casino is based

True events on which the Movie Casino is based

The movie casino was released in 1995 by Martin Scorsese. It featured Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone. The plot was inspired by the real story of Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal, who led the Fremont, Hacienda and Stardust casinos in Las Vegas for the Chicago mob in the 1970s and 1980s. But how much of the movie casino was based on real events?

Robert De Niro & Sharon Stone in the casino film in front of the private jet

Image rights: Universal Studios /

It goes without saying that Casino’s action borrowed and changed some details from Rosenthal’s real report. Let’s take a look at the scenes that were too good for the screenwriters to ignore.

The main characters were based on real counterparts

Every main character in the casino is based on a real person.The similarities are everywhere and don’t just end with the character traits.

Rosenthal really didn’t have a gaming license

Yes, true story. The real Rosenthal had no game license. You would have thought the scene was added for the value of a dark comedy, but no.

Because of his connections to organized crime, the mob knew that it would be too risky to get a license for Rosenthal. To work around the problem, the mob Rosenthal gave lesser-known titles in the casinos where he worked.

This deception comes to a head in a heated court scene in which Rothstein gives us a very public insight into how corrupt the legal process was at the time. Incredibly, Rosenthal was involved in a very similar court case and outbreak.

Rosenthal survived a car bomb attack

The saying goes that sometimes life is much more dramatic than art. That is certainly the case with Rosenthal. The moment that Rothstein survives a car bomb attack is based on real events in the life of Rosenthal. How did Rosenthal come out of such an ordeal alive? Well, a metal stabilization plate under the driver’s seat saved his ass … literally. I bet he used this story in his after dinner speeches for years!

A former casino manager was hunted and killed in his home in Costa Rica

There are a number of murders in the casino, some of which happened in real life. One of the most notorious murders was a former casino manager who found his cruel end after being hunted and murdered at his home in Costa Rica.

Sam Rothstein in the casino film shrugs behind the desk

Photo credit: Universal Studios /

Kissing Ginger and Nicky in the casino movie

Image rights: Universal Studios /

Geri and Spilotro had an affair

The love triangle between Rothstein, McKenna and Santoro in the film plays a crucial role in the death of some of these characters. In real life, it is claimed that Rosenthal’s ex-wife McGee and Spilotro had an affair. Did it have the same effects as in the film? Unlikely. It was still frowned upon by the crowd.

Geri’s death was caused by an overdose of drugs

One of the most tragic moments in Rosenthal’s life was the death of his ex-wife Geri from a drug overdose. This is accurately portrayed in the casino, with Stones McKenna succumbing to a similar fate at a motel at the end of the film.

Anthony Spilotro was killed along with his brother and the two were buried in a grain field in Indiana

In the most iconic death in gangster film history, Pescis Santoro and his brother Dominick are attacked by Frank “Frankie” Marino after the bombing of Rothstein. In an act of retaliation by the mob suspected that Santoro is behind the bombing and getting out of control, Santoro and his brother are buried alive in a grain field. This actually happened with Santoro’s real counterpart, Anthony Spilotro. He and his brother were buried in a grain field in Indiana … allegedly by gangsters.

Leave a Reply