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How Have Casinos Influenced the Movie Industry?

CREDIT: Barry Wetcher/Warner Bros. Pictures/Village Roadshow Pictures

Cinema is an industry that can look back on quite a long history now. In fact, the very first movie cameras were being used way back in the 1890s! Of course, the technology involved and films themselves have come a long way since. Nothing shows this more than the modern global film industry centered on Hollywood.

The stats around the film sector certainly bear out how popular movies remain. Globally, annual revenue from the movie box offices is expected to reach $50bn by 2020. In Hollywood alone, recent figures showed over 1 billion tickets sold for films at the region’s box offices. Why are they so popular?

Humans love to be stimulated, excited, frightened and shocked, which nothing does quite like watching movies. In addition, they are entertaining and offer a fun way to spend a few hours away from your normal life. When it comes to entertainment, the subject matter of any given film is essential.

Casinos come to the fore

Naturally, there are many genres or fields that have influenced films since they started being produced. One major subject that has impacted movies over the years is the gambling industry and casinos in particular. The reasons why casinos and movies go together so well is easy to see. Casinos still to this day have an air of glamour and sophistication, whether you play online casinos for real money in New Jersey or like to head to the nearest offline casino in Vegas.

They are also very dynamic and exciting places with a lot of action happening all the time. This makes them a rich source of creativity for filmmakers. It also makes casino and gambling-based films very popular with the public, who love seeing more about what happens in them.

Which are the best casino flicks?

There have been many films influenced by casinos over the years, but the below are a few of the high rollers:


  • Casino this one had to get a mention! Not only for the name and subject matter, which are focused on casinos, but also because it is a great film. Starring Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone and Joe Pesci, it came out in 1995 to great acclaim. Telling the tale of shady dealings in Mafia-controlled Las Vegas casinos, De Niro and Pesci in particular played memorable roles. If you want a hard-hitting film that will leave you entertained and at times looking away, then this is it!


  • Ocean’s Eleven this is the first film in the popular Ocean’s franchise that stars George Clooney as the title character, Danny Ocean. This is probably the best of the franchise though! It also has a great ensemble cast backing up Clooney impressively, including Brad Pitt on fine form. The story tells the tale of Ocean getting together a crew to pull off a daring casino heist on numerous casinos and the chaos that ensues.


  • The Hangover as with Ocean’s Eleven, this was the first film in a very popular franchise. This first installment sees a group of friends head to Las Vegas for a bachelor party in the city’s many casinos. Starring the always good Bradley Cooper, it was a big hit thanks to its raucous take on the casino experience in Vegas. After all, who could get bored with a film that sees the main characters wake up the next day with a tiger in their hotel room?!


  • Croupier taking a break from Vegas, we have this Mike Hodges-directed film from the UK. Released in 1998, it sees dashing English actor Clive Owen in the lead role as Jack Manfred. Taking on a job as a croupier in a London casino for money, it soon sees Jack finding out some of the harsh realities that parts of the industry can offer.


  • Rain Man although the casino scenes don’t appear until quite late on, there are enough of them to merit this inclusion. Starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman, this was a 1980s smash hit, and is still watchable today. It sees Cruise’s character take charge of his autistic brother in the hope of securing money from his late father’s will. When Cruise’s character realizes that his brother is a card-counting genius, they set off to Vegas to make some serious cash.

Movies owe much to casinos

The above films are some of the most successful and biggest-grossing films in history. Casino, for example, took around $100m at the box office, while Rain Man took over $350m worldwide. These figures show not only how popular casino-based films are but also to what creative heights they can push filmmakers. We can only wait to see what will come out of the global film industry next in the way of casino-related movies.


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