Casinos and Pop Culture: How Gambling Themes Shape Movies, Music, and Art

By Mitch Rice

Reviewers in the sphere of gambling usually talk about things that inspire the casino industry and spur its growth. These may be movies, comics, art, books, music, and a lot of other stuff. Gambling, however, poses as inspiration for many niches of pop culture as well. The thrilling atmosphere of casino play enriches them with its glitz, elegance, and luxury. The following guide will tell you how gambling impacts different spheres of popular culture.

Gambling in Movies

Cinematography is the sphere that uses gambling themes more than any other. There are hundreds of films with scenes of casinos, poker, and betting. Some of them are even dedicated to gambling, including iconic movies like

  • Rounders;
  • The Gambler;
  • Cincinnati Kid.

You’ll also see lots of gambling stuff in top Hollywood creations like Ocean’s Eleven, Casino Royale, and The Hangover.

Filmmakers employ the casino theme to enrich their movies with an exquisite style and add a thrilling atmosphere that will catch the audience’s attention. VIP room players in rich attires, underground poker matches, and luxury casino halls shining with gold – all this is a perfect flavor for the picture on the screen.

While watching gambling-themed movies, you can feel the same exciting emotion as the film characters by playing online casinos real money games. It’s way more affordable than visiting a land-based casino and requires only a few minutes to start.

Gambling in Comics

The comic theme has inspired many game developers to create amazing slot machines like The Avengers, Dark Knight, Wonder Woman, and other topic-related slots. These games appeal to comic book fans with their favorite characters as symbols on the reels, high payouts, and even progressive jackpots.

The comic book sphere employs a gambling theme as well. Some comics are fully dedicated to casino play, and Japanese Kakegurui is among the most popular ones. It’s a must-read for every gambler. You can also watch its anime adaptation on Netflix. Kakegurui is a perfect example of a gambling-related pop culture creation that will be interesting even to those who never played casinos. This comic book is a mix of extravagance, non-trivial plot twists, and on-the-edge emotions that would leave no one uncaring.

Gambling in Music

The influence of casinos on music is not as obvious as it is with cinematography. There are only a few songs related to gambling directly or implying it in lyrics. The best of them are:

  • Viva Las Vegas by Elvis Presley;
  • Gamblin’ Man by Lonnie Donegan;
  • Gambler’s Blues by B.B. King;
  • The Card Cheat by The Clash.

We should note that there are many music industry products that are not about gambling but still use the theme in a certain way. Let’s take Lady Gaga’s iconic song Poker Face. It’s not connected to gambling at all though the name may imply the opposite.  Another good example is the song Starstrukk by American band 3oh!3 ft Katy Perry. It received a well-filmed music video where poker chips are used as a symbol of attraction to somebody.

Gambling in Art

The gambling sphere has impacted culture in many ways most people don’t expect it to. One of them is its influence on painting art. Did you know that some of the most famous artists of all time were avid players and drew inspiration from casino play? There are lots of prominent pictures dedicated to gambling. The best of them are the Dogs Playing Poker series by Marcellus Coolidge, the Card Players by Paul Cezanne, and At The Roulette Table In Monte Carlo by Edvard Munch.


Gambling had a tangible influence on different niches of pop culture and continues to inspire filmmakers, musicians, and writers to create amazing artworks. It’s like an exquisite spice that gives a good dish its mouthwatering taste. Just make sure you know how to use it.

About the Author

Alice Barrios is a blogger and writer who loves popular culture and did lots of research regarding its history. Years of experience gave her a deep understanding of this sphere, and now she’s ready to share her knowledge with the readers. Reading Alice’s articles, you’ll always learn something new and interesting.