Media portrayals unquestionably shape our idealized view of casinos and fascination with them. Hollywood has a long tradition of depicting opulent casinos on film, and these venues often serve as the backdrop for dramatic, exciting, or otherwise fascinating scenes in feature films.
Therefore, while going to a real casino was common practice, online gambling sites and the million ways to win at online blackjack are also quickly gaining in popularity. Access to these opportunities has evolved, but the underlying premise remains the same.
There are certain movies that everyone remembers, like Ocean's Eleven or Casino Royale, the wildest parts of The Hangover, or even certain scenes from Rain Man.
Casinos have become more integrated into filmmaking over the years, expanding beyond their initial role as settings designed to evoke feelings of luxury or peril to include roles in genres as diverse as comedy and romance.
However, the connection between the film industry and gambling goes deeper than just a few featured casinos in selected films.
There's no denying the cultural impact of Hollywood's frequent depictions of the gambling industry. In numerous films, the main characters use casinos as a safe space to let their guard down and unveil who they are.
Take the cynical Rick (Humphrey Bogart), manager of the city's most famous casino, from Michael Curtiz's masterpiece Casablanca (1942). He explains how, by spinning the roulette wheel and choosing the number 22, one can determine one's fate.
Casino Royale (2006), starring Daniel Craig as a brazen 007 agent who plays a game of renowned and hazardous poker with his adversary, is another example and one of the most famous chapters in the James Bond franchise.
There are also the extended sequences in Ocean's Eleven (2001) as the gang meticulously plans out their perfect heist. We can witness George Clooney sitting at the poker table, doing nothing out of the norm as his opponent waits, or Brad Pitt standing next to the slot machines, watching everything that goes on in the casino.
There are many examples, but one that stands out is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), a cult classic whose story is inspired by the author's real-life experiences in the city.
Many famous people in the entertainment industry, including actors, directors, and musicians, have struggled with gambling addiction.
That's not unexpected, considering how the film has helped elevate the sport's image to that of a luxurious pastime. So, it's easy to locate a famous person who competes in a semi-professional event and comes out on top.
Ben Affleck is just one Hollywood actor who has admitted to being a fan of this genre. The actor is an avid poker player, and in 2004, he won roughly $350,000 at a tournament in California.
Tobey Maguire is another well-known actor that is a poker fan. Maguire is best known for playing the titular role in Sam Raimi's Spiderman trilogy, but he is also an accomplished poker player who has honed his skills in Omaha and Texas Hold 'em.
To be sure, they are a handful of the many well-known figures in the entertainment business who like spending their free time gambling with friends or at world-famous Las Vegas casinos.
Matt Damon, George Clooney, 50 Cent, and Paris Hilton are just a few famous people who fit this description. They're all high-rolling gamblers with famous friends.
In one direction, casinos have influenced Hollywood's most successful movies, but in another, the converse is true. Movies have been a significant source of inspiration for the design of several casino games, including slot machines, bingo, and roulette.
The growth in popularity of online gaming has led to the creation of a slew of games based on Hollywood's biggest box office hits. Examples include Jurassic Park, The Matrix, and The Dark Knight.
Games based on movies usually include some distinctive elements, including a setting taken straight from the movie, graphics consistent with the franchise, or the appearance of some of the most well-known movie characters. But some supplements can bring back beloved scenes that fans have been waiting for.
Over time, the bond between casinos and the silver screen has only gotten stronger. Both industries now draw ideas and concepts from one another, so not only do we see exciting casinos in movies, but we also have machines and games based on the most popular ones.
As this partnership grows, other films concerning the gambling industry will hopefully see the light of day.