There’s always something that gets the pulse racing about a casino-based movie. Whether it’s the glitz and glamour of the sexy women on the casino floor or the adrenaline rush of hitting the jackpot or beating the bad guy on the poker table, there’s been some really great movies located in and around casinos.
This article is designed to be a celebration of the best casino movies of all time, underlining Hollywood’s fascination with the neon lights of Vegas and the thrill of high-stakes gambling.
1. Ocean’s Eleven (Steven Soderbergh, 2001)
Arguably the most popular casino heist film of all time, Ocean’s Eleven is set on the Las Vegas strip, with Danny Ocean, played by George Clooney, aided by a motley crew of 11 shady but incredibly smart individuals including Matt Damon and Brad Pitt seeking to rob three of the biggest casinos in Sin City.
As usual, the motive to rob $150m from The Bellagio, the MGM Grand and the Mirage is romantic – with Ocean looking to get back at casino tycoon Terry Benedict, who stole his former wife, Tess. With a great number of plot twists and turns and some hilarious moments along the way, it’s a really clever film jam-packed with Hollywood giants.
2. Rounders (John Dahl, 1998)
Particularly popular with Texas hold’em poker fans, Matt Damon features again heavily here in the 1998 gambling classic Rounders. Mike McDermott, played by Damon, is a university undergraduate with a flair for poker. However, after a run-in with a Russian mobster at a card club, he agrees with his girlfriend’s wishes to focus firmly on his studies.
The release of Mike’s friend, “Worm”, from prison sees him return to the tables to help him win enough money to repay money owed by Worm to the same Russian mobster. Mike shows great skill and heart at the poker table to overcome Teddy KGB once and for all!
Certainly, if the film was re-made again today, there’s every chance Matt Damon would have been an online poker whizzkid, considering the huge number of online casinos that also offer dedicated poker rooms. If you’re a movie buff that likes a flutter, CasinoUK.com lists the newest online casinos available featuring movie-themed slot games, as well as those casino sites that also run poker cash games and tournaments such as Betfair, PaddyPower and Grosvenor Casinos.
3. Casino Royale (Martin Campbell, 2006)
An article on classic casino movies wouldn’t be legitimate without the inclusion of a Bond movie! The 2006 remake of the 1967 James Bond classic Casino Royale features a heart-stopping high-stakes poker game between Bond and terrorist-backer, Le Chiffre, with Bond, played by Daniel Craig, tasked with winning the game to stop Le Chiffre winning his money back and putting an end to his funding of terrorism throughout the world.
The film has all the components of a casino classic – risk-taking, big money and the style and sophistication as seen in any high-stakes casino room.
Today, movies and gambling have never been more closely intertwined. Many of the leading box office blockbusters find their way onto new online casino sites in the form of desktop and mobile games. The most popular movie additions to iGaming sites include The Dark Knight Rises, Hellboy and Tomb Raider – all of which were developed by leading iGaming developer, Microgaming.