In 1994, the first-ever online casino was born. While a modest affair, to begin with, it would spawn a multibillion-dollar industry – one that has grown dramatically ever since. Starting our love affair with this popular internet entertainment, it marked a turning point in the way we play.
26 years later, our interest shows no sign of waning. Today, the global online gambling industry is worth an estimated $59 billion. By 2023, this figure is expected to have almost doubled, reaching the heady heights of $93 billion.
Given the pastime’s inarguable popularity, it’s little wonder that certain new film releases have been inspired by its fast-paced and thrilling play. Recently added to some major online streaming platforms, these original titles are well worth a watch for those in need of a binge.
Here are two movies you might want to check out.
Lay the Favorite
The world of online gambling is famed for its fast pace and thrills. Aiming to offer something for everyone, its titles range from traditional options like blackjack through to the slot game Fishin’ Frenzy, a watery adventure with plenty of twists and turns along the way. Convenient, accessible, but exciting, it’s no surprise that internet play is now even more popular than the physical variant it derives from. Hopefully, in the future, we will see a film based on slots in some way as it could be a key setting for a story to be told.
As with any pop culture trend, content creators see in it a source of inspiration and one release that perfectly exemplifies this is Lay the Favorite, which was recently released on Amazon Prime. Starring Bruce Willis, Rebecca Hall, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Joshua Jackson, it’s a story about sports betting with a stellar cast to embody it.
Based on a memoir by Beth Raymer, the story follows a free-spirited young waitress who’s grown bored of the life she has. Introduced to a professional gambler by a friend, she quickly becomes his protégé and lucky charm.
Fast-paced and fun, this true story delivers highs, lows, and plenty of laughs, making it the perfect pick me up for some rainy weekend watching.
Recently released on Netflix, Uncut Gems is another title you ought to check out. A relatively new movie, it graced cinema screens across America in 2019 and marked a departure from his usual comedic roles for lead Adam Sandler.
A crime thriller, the film stars Sandler as Howard Ratner, alongside a supporting cast made up of LaKeith Stanfield, Kevin Garnett, Julia Fox, and Idina Menzel. The lead character, Ratner, is a jeweler and gambler hailing from New York’s Diamond District, famed for its precious jewels and high-cash transactions.
Featuring lots of high-stakes gambling action, the film explores themes such as luck and corruption. Scenes are often nail-biting and will leave viewers on the edge of their seats, wondering if the down-at-heel Ratner will ever turn things around.
Like all good movies, the most intense and unexpected events happen at the very end, with the final scene likely to leave viewers reeling for weeks after. Once the credits roll, you’ll understand exactly why this film comes so highly acclaimed.
Why not try one of these two gambling greats the next time you need something new to watch?