The Hollywood movie industry has a strong influence on popular culture. Popular Hollywood movies have been setting fashion trends for decades, as well as defining what is cool and what is not.
The movie industry makes different types of movies, but some of the most popular titles ever are related to gambling in one way or another. Just remember the classics such as James Bond (e.g. Casino Royale), Casino, Rounders, Ocean’s Eleven, 21, and so on. All of these have achieved great success and earned millions in theaters.
But what we’re interested in finding out is how did they impact the image and the popularity of casino games. Do gambling movies draw people into casinos, or do they scare them away? Let’s find out.
Hollywood Gamblers Are Usually Charismatic
Since we’re talking about Hollywood, the actors hired to play the main roles in gambling movies are usually quite charismatic and good-looking. Some examples include George Clooney, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, or Daniel Craig who have played some of the top gambling characters.
That certainly causes at least some of the viewers to want to visit a casino and play some of the games. The games that are most often seen in movies are slots, roulette, blackjack (e.g. 21), and poker (e.g. Casino Royale). Coincidentally, these are also the most popular casino games in the real world.
Gambling Is Linked to Criminality
To balance things out, the entire gambling industry is usually related to criminal organizations in Hollywood movies. The plot of the movie usually follows the main character trying to get out of trouble with some local criminals. Obviously, that image does not make casinos a very popular place in the real world.
Therefore, movies about gambling can also make casino games less popular. The truth is that the beatings and the criminal background were real in the gambling industry in Las Vegas between the 1960’s and 1980’s. Today, however, casino resorts are leisure destinations for the whole family.
Characters in Gambling Movies Win Consistently
Someone with no experience in playing casino games would think that winning is quite common when playing slots, roulette, and other popular games. That’s because the main characters in gambling movies are usually shown winning consistently and taking huge amounts of money home with them.
Sure, that’s something that happens from time to time to the luckiest ones, but it definitely does not happen often. If it did, most casinos would go bankrupt.
Such scenes definitely make casino games more popular in the real world. Someone watching a gambling movie would imagine that winning is easy and would probably wish to give it a try and get out of the rut quickly.
Games of Luck Played as Games of Skill
Another way in which gambling movies affect the real world image of casino games in a positive way is by showing characters playing games of luck as if they are games of skill. For example, many James Bond movies show the famous secret agent playing baccarat and scraps and relying on his skills to win against opponents.
By seeing such scenes, one would think that you could win at games of luck by practicing and getting better. It’s surely possible to improve your chances of winning in these games by improving some of your skills, but not to such a high degree as shown in some gambling movies.
Did watching a Hollywood gambling movie inspire you to hit the road for the nearest casino? I know my friends and I all became super Texas Holdem fiends after Casino Royale hit theaters. Did the movies get it right? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.
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