We read that Studio City, a new $2 billion gambling, entertainment and retail resort in Macau, has hired director Martin Scorcese to make a short film to promote it, which will include the likes of Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro in its cast list, and which will premiere at next year’s opening.

De Niro, fans of the 1995 Scorcese film Casino will know, convincingly played the unsavoury character of Las Vegas casino boss Sam “Ace” Rothstein, this largely based on that of the real-life Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal, a professional sports better, Las Vegas casino boss and associate of organised crime. Rosenthal was also an associate of psychopathic Chicago hit-man, boyhood friend and Las Vegas enforcer for the mob Anthony “The Ant” Spilotro, convincingly played in the film as Nicky Santoro by Joe Pesci, and meeting the same violent and deeply unpleasant end.

Question is, and without seeing Scorcese’s promotional film, will this potential association with the nasty face of gambling be a safe bet for the image of a new casino? Watch this space.

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