5 Real Events the Movie Casino is Based on

The Martin Scorsese-directed masterpiece Casino makes our list of the top 10 gambling movies in history. The production is widely considered to be the best movie of its kind. It is a true Hollywood classic.

Surprisingly, Casino is based on real events revolving around the control of the mafia over gambling in Las Vegas. Here are five of the most important ones.

The main characters were real

Every main character in the movie is based on a real individual. And the similarities to their real-life stories go way beyond their traits.

Sam Rothstein is based on Frank Rosenthal. Santoro is based on Anthony Spilotro. And Ginger is based on Geri McGee, just to name a few.

Frank Rosenthal didn’t have a gambling license

As Rosenthal had ties to the mob, it would be unnecessarily risky to apply for a gambling license.

To work around the laws, the mafia gave Rosenthal low-profile titles, such as entertainment director or food manager. However, he was still the one running the casinos.

When some loose ends of his deception started becoming public, Rosenthal was involved in a court case. In the movie, the character goes on a rant about the corruption of the legal process. In real life, the event was very similar.

Rosenthal survived a car bombing

The scene in which the character Rothstein comes out alive of a car bombing is factually based on a real event that happened to Frank Rosenthal.

Over the following years, Rosenthal used to love talking about this incident and his survival at his dinner parties. It was a plate located under the seat for stabilization that saved his life.

Spilotro and Geri had an affair

Yes, movies often resort to love triangles for romantic dramatization. But actually, Geri McGee and Anthony Spilotro had an affair.

The only thing uncertain is whether that relationship brought consequences so terrible as in the movie.

Spilotro and his brother were killed and buried in a cornfield


This event makes up for one of the best scenes ever in casino movies. The two brothers were caught after it was alleged that Spilotro was the architect of the car bombing. They are buried alive in a cornfield in Indiana.

When you see the movie once again, you will have a whole new outlook on the action.