by Aveline MacQuoid on February 22, 2022

in Extras

Which Gambling And Casino Films
Have The Most Dramatic Losses?

Gambling has been in existence for quite a long-time spanning millennia. When the film industry started over a hundred years ago, there was no doubt that gambling activities would be depicted in the movies. The first movie to have a gambling storyline was Smart Money which hit the silver screens in 1931. Today’s every no deposit sign up bonus mobile casino Australia has significantly impacted the gambling and casino movies being released. Some films are made to debunk stereotypes associated with casinos. For instance, in the film 21, the casinos lose big to players discrediting the ‘the house always wins’ moniker associated with casinos. However, the majority of the movies reinforce the stereotypes by highlighting the dangers of gambling addiction and organised crime involvement in gambling.

Casino-inspired films are gaining a global audience and are becoming increasingly popular. Put together, these films have grossed over $10 billion. In addition, iconic movie stars such as Matt Damon, George Clooney, and Ben Affleck have significantly impacted the casino film market since they have starred in several movies. This write-up will discuss gambling and casino films that have had ridiculous amounts of losses for both casinos and gamblers. So, would you like to get enlightened about casino-based movies with dramatic losses? Read on.

 1. Lost In America

Lost in America tops our list of casino-inspired movies with dramatic losses. The film was released in 1985, and it is of the satirical comedy genre. Lost in America was written and directed by Albert Brooks, who also doubles as the lead actor in the film. The movie is set in the 1980s, and the storyline revolves around David and Linda Howard, a couple discontented with their life in Los Angeles, California.

After failing to secure a much-awaited promotion, David quits his well-paying advertising job. Back home, the couple sells their house and liquidates all their assets. With $100,000 in a bag, the Howards decide to tour the world in an RV. On their trip, they find themselves in Las Vegas. Linda decided to try lady luck while David was away. Gone for about ten minutes, David comes back to a dejected wife who has lost all their money at the tables. He tries to beg the dealer to return the money to no avail. Within days of their new life adventure, the couple ends up broke and living in a trailer park doing menial jobs.

 2. High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story

High Roller comes a close second to Lost in America in gambling films with huge losses. The movie is based on a real-life story and was released in 2003. The High Roller film was written and directed by A.W Vidmer and produced by F.A Miller. The drama is told in flashback as Ungar, played by Michael Imperioli, narrates his story to an unknown person, portrayed by Michael Pasternak. All this happens on the night before Ungar dies.

Stu Ungar was born to an absent bookie father. To survive the cruel life, he started engaging in street gambling to survive. Realising he had a poker talent, Ungar became a child prodigy at ten. His superior poker skills saw him beat talented players and set a world record by winning three consecutive World Poker series tournaments. Stu Ungar amassed a wealth estimated to be about $50 million in his glory days. Unfortunately, compulsive gambling and drug addiction got to Stu Ungar with vast money. He lost everything and died a dejected man in Vegas.

3. The Gambler

The Gambler is a crime drama movie that hit the theatres in December 2014. The film is based on an earlier James Toback movie with the same name that was released in 1971. Rupert Wyatt directed the Gambler, and William Monahan did its screenplay. The movie plot is centred around the gambling life of Jim Bennet, portrayed by Mark Walberg, who is a college professor. This movie ranks top in our list because it shows that no man is immune to the vagaries of gambling addiction despite their station in life. 

Jim struggles with gambling; he is constantly losing in the casinos. Some of the casinos Jim frequents are shady and run by dodgy characters. With the meagre salary of a college professor, Jim cannot fund his gambling addiction. This prompts him to take loans from family, casino owners and loan sharks. Notably, he borrowed $200,000 from Lee, a casino operator, and $50,000 from the loan shark Neville Baraka. All these monies are lost in casinos, Jim loses approximately $500,000 in the movie. Tired of looking over his shoulders due to debts, Jim convinces one of his students to fix a match in his favour. This final win only rids him of his debts and leaves him without a penny to his name.

4. Rounders

The Rounders film is of the drama category genre. The movie was released in 1998 and stars two major players in the film industry, Matt Damon and Edward Norton. John Dahl directed the movie, and Brian Koppelman and David Levien wrote it. The plot is about two college friends who have their ups and downs in gambling, all the while striving to complete studies and make something of their lives.

In the beginning, Mike McDermont (Matt Damon) loses his entire college fund of $30,000 in poker. Mike swears never to gamble again and takes up menial jobs to support him through college. All these changes when his friend Murphy (Edward Norton) is released from prison and owes money to dangerous people. At the end of the film, Mike wins $60,000 settles Murphy’s debt. He later drops out of college to focus on poker tournaments in Vegas. 

5. 21

Unlike most movies, 21 depicts the other side of gambling that all gamblers wish for, beating the house. The drama film got into theatres in 2008. The movie is based on a real-life story of MIT students who were experts in card games and raked colossal cash rewards in Vegas. It is written by Allan Loeb and directed by Peter Steinfeld. The movie storyline revolves around Professor Micky Rosa (Kevin Spacey) and his talented students. Micky teaches his students the art of card counting, which enabled them to win at the casinos for ten straight years.

6. Take Away

Although we have looked at a few casino-inspired movies with dramatic losses, it is essential to note that they are numerous and have a worldwide viewership. The main aim of the casino-based film is to educate the populace on the effects of gambling, both good and bad. These films have also impacted the casino industry positively and negatively. For instance, films with huge losses incurred by players like Stu Ungar make gamblers steer clear of casinos. This eventually leads to a drop in their revenue collection.

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