Movies about Casinos Affect People’s View of Gambling

The relationship between the gambling industry and the movie industry goes two ways. The thrilling world of gambling inspires filmmakers. In turn, great cinematic representations of casinos draw the viewers’ attention and attract new visitors. Hollywood gambling movies have the power to shape the audience’s ideas of gambling, make casino games and specific casinos more popular among gamblers and tourists, and, in some cases, help actors show off their talent in nuanced and complicated roles.

Source: New York Post

Movies about Casinos Affect People’s View of Gambling

Many stereotypes about the gambling industry are the product of its representation in the movies about casinos. Movies often misrepresent gambling and portray casinos in a negative light. Some of the most common tropes include the emphasis on the connection between gambling and crime (which is rarely there in reality), the seeming easiness of massive wins, and the occurrence of ‘losing it all,’ among others. 

None of these actually happens all that often. In the places where gambling is legalized, it is a well-regulated industry that is useful to the state thanks to the tax money it brings. There are tons of platforms for legal gambling on the territory of the US and other countries. As to the size of winnings or losses, they tend to be way more modest in nine out of ten cases.

At the same time, gambling movies add appeal to the gambling industry. Think of dashing George Clooney portraying Danny Ocean in Ocean’s Eleven or Daniel Craig opposite Mads Mikkelsen in Casino Royale. The movie industry paints a very sexy, tempting, and exciting picture of the gambling industry. Who doesn’t want to be like Danny Ocean or James Bond (or Jessica Chastain’s irresistible character from Molly’s Game)? Gambling becomes a tool for feeling like it is possible.

Movies Make Casino Games More Popular

Also, Hollywood gambling movies help casino operators. Think about the most iconic Las Vegas casinos represented in many Vegas-based movies, such as MGM Grand, Bellagio, and Mirage featured in Ocean’s Eleven, The Hangover, and a dozen of others. Thanks to these movies, the audience falls in love with the luxurious interiors and unique atmosphere of world-class casinos. Obviously, the next logical step is to visit them off-screen.

Misrepresentation of casino gambling in the movies helps as well. Seeing how often and much the protagonists of gambling movies win makes the audience believe that the same will happen to them the minute they sit at the roulette or poker table. Sadly, it does not always work; life is not Rounders. But practice does help.

Gambling Movies Often Boost Actors’ Careers

There are some great gambling movies out there, so it is not surprising that they sometimes become breakthrough career moments for rising Hollywood stars. For example, think of George Clooney. His portrayal of a ‘gentleman thief’ Danny Ocean in the series of Ocean movies (Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve, Ocean’s Thirteen) is some of the brightest roles in his career.

Also, movies about gambling are not always light-hearted. One of the best movies of 2019, Uncut Gems, is perhaps the best performance in Adam Sandler’s career. The actor, who usually stars in comedies, got to showcase his talent in a more tragic role.

Movies Help Tourism

Finally, the mysterious and forbidden charm that gambling movies add to the world’s top casinos draws people to them from across the globe. It is not uncommon for tourists to travel hundreds if not thousands of miles to visit the casinos featured in Hollywood movies. Usually, this applies to either Las Vegas or Monaco, the two ‘gambling capitals’ of the world.

Tourists may try to gamble as part of the experience, but what they actually want is to feel closer to the glamor of beautiful film sets and Hollywood A-list celebrities. Visiting Vegas or Monaco is a way to feel closer to one’s icon.


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