It is no coincidence that the popularity of casino games has skyrocketed in the past 30 years, following the release of several films that changed the way people viewed casinos, and created a mystique around particular games that captivated theatre audiences.
Movies like Casino, Ocean’s Eleven, and Rounders made a huge impact on cinemagoers, and for many avid gamblers it was a movie experience that sparked their interest in games like poker and blackjack, long before they ever set foot in a casino.
The gambling industry has never been as healthy as it is now. The total global gambling market gross win is estimated to be $328 billion, of which an estimated $86 billion is won in the US. Online gambling has also benefited from Hollywood’s various portrayals of big online winners, and the web-based gambling industry is now worth a whopping $23 billion worldwide.
Roulette is perhaps the most iconic of all the casino games to have been featured in some hugely successful gambling movies, and now it is one of the latest casino games to hit the big time in terms of its popularity online. New developments in gaming technology have made the experience of online roulette remarkably realistic, and with offerings such as roulette from 32Red.com, where you can play six different variants of the game, and play using downloadable software or at an instant-play online casino, there are more reasons than ever for roulette lovers to try the web version of the casino classic.
Players at sites like the aforementioned 32Red, CasinoAction.com and Harrah’s Online Casino can emulate their movie heroes at real money roulette tables, without leaving their living rooms. Online roulette offers classic USA roulette, as well as the European, French, and Premium versions of the game.
Here’s our pick of the movies that brought roulette to new audiences by harnessing the drama of the game on film:
Back in 1943, many people witnessed the game of roulette for the first time when they flocked to theatres to see Humphrey Bogart play Rick Blaine, who used a rigged roulette wheel to help people win on black 22.
In the movie, Blaine helps young couple Jan and Annina with the money to pay for their exit visas from America by advising them to bet on his rigged wheel!
By 1993, the game of roulette was well established at casinos all over the world, but it was thrust back into the spotlight when Adrien Lyne directed Indecent Proposal – a movie starring Woody Harrelson, Demi Moore, and Robert Redford, based on a novel by Jack Engelhard.
The film follows the tale of David (Harrelson) and Diana Murphy (Moore), who travel to Las Vegas in the hope of winning big in order to fulfil their dreams of setting up a real estate project. To give the film the drama it required, Lyne chose the roulette table for the crucial moment when they place their savings on red…only to lose it all.
Run Lola Run
Five years later, German suspense film Run Lola Run starred Franka Potente as a woman who needs 100,000 Deutsche Marks to save the love of her life.
Director Tom Tykwer waits until the film’s climax to take the action to the roulette wheel, where she dramatically wins not once, but twice, and rushes to her boyfriend’s rescue.