Why Aren’t Casinos Represented More in Film?

in Film & TV

The casino is one of the most intense and exciting locations that you can visit. The buzzing atmosphere, the thrilling sounds of fortunes being won and lost, whirring sirens, croupiers hustling, gamblers heckling and chips clinking- all this amounts to an electrifying experience.

Add the modern online casinos to that mix, bringing new elements to the classic formula, and the casino business is a massive and exhilarating sector that should be represented more on the big screen. Some classics have managed to recreate the thrills and spills, but they have been few and far between. With virtual reality about to rewrite how online casino games are played, is it time for a new breed of casino films? Here are two classics that film makers could draw inspiration from.

Casino Royale (2006)


James Bond is a casino regular, and is best known for his love of baccarat. He does like to indulge in other casino classics, though, most notably roulette. Interestingly, there is even a James Bond system for playing roulette which involves spread betting different amounts on varying sets of numbers. It’s surely a sign of the times that players who want to emulate the smooth spy are likely to do so at an online site like Betway and other online casinos to get some practice, so they can be like 007 and impress their friends.

In Casino Royale, Bond ignored the cards and the wheel, however, and instead went all-in in a high stakes poker tournament. Fans of the hit spy films are generally in agreement that Daniel Craig’s first outing as 007 was one of the best Bond films of all time. It had the perfect blend of suspense, action, romance, and of course, suaveness. The biggest film about Texas Hold’em poker to that point had been Rounders in 1998, starring Edward Norton and Matt Damon. Casino Royale upped the ante on that and managed to convey the anticipation and nervous trepidation of playing at such a high level in a real casino. For gambling fans this film is a must see.

Casino (1995)

Martin Scorsese’s epic film sees Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci running a Las Vegas casino, and gives a great depiction of the ins and outs of operating such a thriving business. Although this is more of a gangster film which is set in a casino, than a film focusing on a particular game, viewers can still enjoy an excellent illustration of the mechanics in play in a real life casino.

The film captures the atmosphere, intensity and excitement perfectly, and the casino in the film acts as the perfect backdrop for all the conflicts in the story set within it. To this day, it is hard to think of a film that shows the inner workings of a busy casino so perfectly.

The films described above are two of the best casino-based films ever made, so to create new material on the foundations that made these films great could be a good place to start for filmmakers who are considering reigniting the genre.

The filmmakers would also have to consider how far the trade has come in the last ten years since Casino Royale’s release. Online casinos have now become a hugely popular way of enjoying all the classic games, and with other advancements in technology coming about, the casino world could be set to change once more. A modern day film based on a casino would have to take into account the different ways to play. Mobile casinos like MobileCasinoHub.com have also started to gain popularity with less people owning computers, and more people using a smartphone as their primary device.

So what could work? A virtual reality remake of Casino? Or how about an online version of Casino Royale? Now could be the perfect time to totally recreate the genre and bring casinos back to the big screen.
Featured image: “DSC27850, Circus Circus, Reno, Nevada” (CC BY 2.0) by  jimg944

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