"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Feb 042020

Is this heaven?” “It’s Iowa… ” With the iconic corn fields in the background, Kevin Costner got to utter this historic magic formula in the grand finale of “Field of dreams” (1989), a movie all about sentiment and good feelings. A farmer, led by mysterious voices and a vision, sacrifices part of his corn fields to build a baseball field and honour his late father’s dream. Nothing apparently so far from gambling, but there is a catch, and it is about protecting the purity of sports. This is what makes laws and regulations so important, as you can find out on bet-iowa.com, if you want to enjoy both sports and gambling. The link with Costner’s character, Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella, is the role played in the movie by the fictionalized version of “shoeless” Joe Jackson. The star MLB outfielder from the early 1900s had his career destroyed by a scandal connected to gambling.

If you are not familiar with the Black Sox Scandal, the right movie for you is “Eight Men Out” (1988), with a completely different shoeless Joe, portrayed as an illitterate simpleton dragged unwittingly in the scam. A long distance from the romantic fantasy set in the Iowa corn fields, this one is a movie fit for true baseball lovers, from a true story. Director John Sayles even told the Chicago Tribune that he hired John Cusack and Charlie Sheen, playing two of the eight Chicago White Sox men involved in the scandal, not because they were rising stars as actors, but because of their ball-playing talent. Fallen into temptation for being miserably lowly paid, offered $5000 by gamblers to throw the 1919 finals of the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds, the eight ended up being banned from playing baseball for life.

Another true story of sports and gambling, several decades later, is the biographical crime drama “Molly’s Game” (2017). The protagonist, a world-class mogul skier, is prevented from qualifying for the 2002 Winter Olympics by a severe injury. In search of a job, she quickly evolves from bottle waitress in a club to manager of an underground poker business. After being fired by her boss, she goes solo and becomes extremely successful. Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) will discover the dark side of her business when the Russian and Italian mafia will take an interest in her.

He was a powerhouse Washington lobbyist, who ensanared lawmakers, Capitol Hill aides and government officials. Jack Abramoff, aka “Casino Jack” (2010), is the hero of another biographic movie in which gambling plays a key role. Kevin Spacey plays a brilliant role as the man who dragged down a congressman, a deputy secretary at the Interior Department and a dozen other high-ranking officials in the 2008 corruption trial that made history. One specific scam damaged Indian tribes, owners of tribal casinos, for millions of dollars.

From an episodic role in the real story of Jack Abramoff in the US, to the leading role in a TV fiction in his Canadian homeland, native actor Eric Schweig is casino boss Matthew Tommy in the very successful comedy-drama “Cashing In.” The APTN series ran for four seasons, from 2009 to 2014, revolving around Tommy’s North Beach Casino in Stonewalker First Nation. Shark executives, smooth dealers, scheming slicksters and colourful community members make up the cast of this fast-paced Canadian story.

 Posted by on February 4, 2020  Add comments

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