Casinos are places to gamble, drink and have a good time – they are a symbol of entertainment and indulgence. It is hardly surprising then that there is a wealth of movie entertainment to feature casinos, gaming tables, card games and slot machines. Here is a list of some of the most iconic.
Riviera Casino, Las Vegas
The most famous casino movie of them all is named – unsurprisingly – Casino. Featuring an all-star cast including Robert De Niro, it told a fictionalised story based on actual people and real events. Some details were changed for production. However, the Riviera Casino was a real place. It opened in 1955 but demolished in its 60th anniversary year 2015, although it had been closed for five years when the holding company went bankrupt. The drop in foot traffic was blamed for its demise. Now, the Las Vegas Global Business District stands in its place.
River Palms Resort Casino, Nevada
Leaving Las Vegas is the film that made Nicolas Cage and is still regarded his best film. A failed screenwriter ends up in Las Vegas, determined to drink himself to death when he meets and falls in love with a prostitute. It features a number of leisure facilities from around the city, but none more so than the River Palms, which became the central Gold River Casino and Resort where Cage spends much of his time. It had been open 11 years at the time of filming and came close to bankruptcy a year later despite its fame. Today, it is known as the Laughlin River Lodge.
La Rotonde Lenotre, Alpes-Maritimes, France
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is considered one of the best comedies of the 1980s, set on the beautiful south coast of France, an area rich in casinos and gaming where the great and the good mix and mingle. It features Michael Caine as a high-class conman and Steve Martin as his streetwise low-class equivalent. Caine spends his time travelling the casinos ripping off rich older women, and this facility features more than any other. It still stands today but is no longer a casino. It is a private events facility on the glorious south coast.
Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino
Telling the true story of a group of MIT students who ripped off a series of casinos, 21 demonstrated the effectiveness of card counting. Naturally, it would feature several casinos including the Riviera that also appeared in Casino. The most iconic is the move-themed Planet Hollywood, owned by Las Vegas giant Caesar’s Entertainment. The facility has gone through several name changes, most notably to its now iconic name which it changed to just the year before the film was released. At the time the MIT team were card counting and winning millions, this resort was called the Aladdin.
Casino de Monte Carlo, Monte Carlo
Ocean’s Eleven did not feature any real casino floor (only a staircase from the Bellagio featured) but the same cannot be said for its first sequel – Ocean’s Twelve. Set in the gorgeous surroundings of southern France, the iconic Casino de Monte Carlo opened in the 1850s and fast become the premier destination for well-to-do Europeans looking to experience legal gambling. It was an ambitious project; despite that, we associate Monte Carlo with casinos today, in the 1850s the attitudes were quite different. This casino is arguably the one that started it all.
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