4 Hollywood Hits that Helped the Casino Industry Grow
It’s no secret that Hollywood movies touch on a whole variety of topics and niche subjects, and something that has always been a hit with fans is casino-related movies. There’s something about the lure of striking rich in casinos that lays the foundations for a successful film, and there’s plenty to pick from years gone by.
But what kind of knock-on effect does a Hollywood hit have on the real-life casino industry? If truth be told, it has sent it spiraling into the stratosphere. Coupled with the rise and popularity of online casinos and gambling, the casino industry as a whole has certainly boomed over the last decade in particular, so let’s take a look at four casino-related flicks that have helped the industry grow.
Starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton, Rounders is often regarded as one of the best gambling movies ever made. The film centers on Mike McDermott (Damon) who is known as a ‘rounder’ (someone who seeks out high-stakes card games) and his friend Lester Murphy (Norton), who enter a series of poker games in order to pay off a large debt.
The film is relatively detailed in terms of the actual gameplay and shows a number of betting strategies, and even portrays a cheat or two along the way which typically didn’t pan out well for Damon and Norton. In the end, the pair manage to clear their debt as McDermott seeks to enter the World Series of Poker championships.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Upon its release in 1998, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas didn’t exactly set pulses racing, but the movie became a cult-classic amongst movie and gambling fans in the following years. Starring Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro as Raoul Duke and Dr Gonzo, the two set off on what was supposed to be an assignment to cover a motorcycle race, but Raoul and Dr. Duke end up with a shipment of psychedelic drugs.
As they enter Vegas, the mind-warping substances take full effect and the pair finally reach Bazooko Circus where Raoul plays a round of Big 6. Although he doesn’t do very well, the film is centered around the home of gambling and highlights the glitz and glamour of Sin City.
The Gambler is a 2014 hit which was a remake of the 1970’s classic of the same name. Mark Wahlberg stars as literature professor Jim Bennett, who has a lust for all things gambling, The Gambler portrays Bennett’s journey from owing a hefty sum to the owner of an illegal gambling ring, to eventually clearing off what he owed.
Bennett’s main love for gambling comes in the shape of blackjack, and the majority of the film centers on the universally-loved game you can try your luck via Paddy Power Casino, with a whole host of different games to play and enjoy.
If Rounders is considered one of the best gambling films to be made, then Casino is surely one of the most iconic. Starring Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, Casino tells the tale of Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein (De Niro) and Nicky Santoro (Pesci) who help tighten the mob’s grip on the Vegas casino scene.
The film also stars Sharon Stone as Ginger McKenna, who went on to win a Golden Globe for her performance, but the film will always be remembered for the stunning insight into the nitty-gritty side of Sin City. “Casino” will always be regarded as a classic amongst gambling films, and all of the films mentioned have really played their part in glamourizing casinos and helping the industry transform into how we know it today.