Casino Royale (2006), Martin Campbell
This one needs no introduction. There is no one iconic casino scene in Casino Royale because basically, the entire movie takes place in a casino, and it is, well, iconic. However, there is one particular scene that stands out because of how detailed, well-acted, and realistic it looks. It’s the poker scene that features the protagonist, James Bond (Daniel Craig), at the poker table in a game against the antagonist, the brilliant evil genius Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen). The scene is intense, to say the least, and manages to keep the viewer on the edge of their seat throughout. It’s the quintessence of all the best Casino Royale has to offer.
Rain Man (1988), Barry Levinson
Another unforgettable casino scene comes from the cinema classic, Rain Man. This movie, starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman as brothers rebuilding their relationship after their father’s death, is rightly included in most lists of the best movies of all time. It is touching, thrilling, and satisfying in equal parts. One of the movie’s most exciting scenes takes place in a casino. The protagonist, Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise), decides to win money at blackjack to set off his debts. His brother Raymond, who is fantastic with numbers, helps him. Spoiler alert: they get what they want. In some way, this scene is the climax of Rain Man because everything goes upwards from there for the main characters.
The Best Australian Gambling Movie – Broke (2016), Heath Davis
Unlike the rest of the items on this list, Broke is an indie movie; a rare viewer has heard about it, especially outside Australia. However, this does not make it any less worthy. Broke is a very well-told drama about a gambling addict and former National Rugby League player who is getting into the world of sports betting. The movie has won several awards and was well-received by critics. As a cherry on top, it was shot in Gladstone, Queensland, so Gladstone locals will easily recognise filming locations.
Now, with most of the casinos closed because of the global lockdown, gamblers have to learn how to be creative. And here’s where online casinos available in Australia becomes a great option.
The Hangover (2009), Todd Philipps
A more recent movie, Todd Philipps’ The Hangover, pays homage to Levinson’s classic. The Hangover is a hilarious tale about a group of friends who spend an out-of-this-world, one-of-a-kind weekend in Las Vegas at a bachelor party for one of them. At some point during the night out (which none of the friends remembers), the group allegedly steals casino poker chips from a gangster and is now $80,000 in debt. They ask Alan (one of the guys from the group) to use his card counting abilities and manage to win the money needed. This scene is an obvious tribute to Rain Man, not only because the situation is similar but also because the sum of money missing is exactly the same. Unfortunately, Riviera Hotel & Casino, where the scene was filmed, stopped operating in 2015, so you can no longer visit it.
Ocean’s Eleven (2001), Steven Soderbergh
Viewers’ all-time favourite, this heist movie needs no introduction either. Few movies in cinema history can compare to Ocean’s Eleven in the amount of sheer excitement they give the audience. Like Casino Royale, Ocean’s Eleven features multiple casino scenes because the entire storyline revolves around a casino. Still, there is one moment that fits the definition of an iconic casino scene more than any other. The head of the squad, Danny Ocean (George Clooney), meets Rusty (Brad Pitt), an old partner-in-crime of his, over a poker game to offer him to take part in the heist he planned. And thus begins the story we all know and love. By the way, even though this particular scene does not happen there, Bellagio, the casino Danny’s squad has their eyes on, still welcomes visitors in Las Vegas.