Fans of gangster movies will notice a reoccurring theme in all the genre’s films, with at least one scene being set in a casino. Historically, there has always been a connection between the organised crime scene and gambling, with Las Vegas being the prime example of this. During the beginning of the gambling movement in the Nevada desert, the majority of the casinos were owned by mobs, which led to many cinematic adaptions being made of the relationship between the two.
Although the trend is to base casino films in Las Vegas, some releases such as Goodfellas take a different view of the relationship between gangsters and gambling by targeting other American cities. The casino industry was predominately ran by the mob during this period, so there were still huge gambling links outside of the Sin City. But it isn’t only the gritty behaviour of the mob which make casinos the perfect setting for a gangster film, the themes of glamour excitement also make it a great location. The casinos stand as a metaphor for the gangster lifestyle, as much like the risks taken in gambling, the mob are dicing with the law and their lives. A great example from recent cinema history is Martin Scorsese’s 1995 film Casino, highlight the influence the mob can have on a casino.
Casino gaming has become more popular over recent times, mainly due to the rise in online gambling sites such as Gaming Club . It was predicted that over time land-based casinos would become a thing of the past, with all users turning to playing online as they can do so from the comfort of their own home. But, the history connected to casinos, with the glitz, grit and glamour of the mob, and all the films depicting casinos scenes, gamers still want to get a taste of a real casino floor. The days of gangsters running the casinos is very much in the history books, but the same thrill of gambling in Las Vegas still exists and just a strong as all those years ago.