Famous TV shows with casino scenes: How gambling came to become part of contemporary pop culture and TV sitcoms.
Playing casino games has always been popular. People all over the world have long enjoyed heading to the local casino to try out a hand of blackjack or poker. It is not just the chance of winning big which attracts them – the thrill and glamour of being in a casino is also a powerful draw.
Casino play has also become a major part of contemporary culture across the world and is growing in the U.S. now that online gambling is being allowed in more states. A feature of this has been the famous TV shows that include casino scenes in them. But which shows are they and which scenes are we talking about?
This classic adult animation series started life in 1989 and has since gone on to achieve worldwide success. People just can’t get enough of dad Homer and his children Lisa and Bart. Over time, the makers have used the Simpson family to deal with many popular aspects of culture and the episode ‘$pringfield (Or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling) touches on casino play. A casino is approved to be built in Springfield but the residents object greatly to it. Also in the episode are some great casino-based scenes to laugh at which parody the more outrageous side of Las Vegas. Gunter and Ernst’s ‘Smoking Tigers’ anyone?
First aired in 2010, this hit TV series stars Steve Buscemi as the main character Enoch ‘Nucky’ Thompson. The first episode was actually directed by Martin Scorsese and cost around $18 million to make. It is set in prohibition era Atlantic City, so classic casino scenes are practically guaranteed for viewers. Perhaps the best of them involves Arnold Rothstein (a character based on a real-life historical figure) cleaning out Thompson’s own casino when playing poker there. By the end, Rothstein is keen to play on, but Thompson refuses him. Cue much drama and the classic line, ‘Your credit is good with me’, from Rothstein.
The Office (U.S. version)
You may know this hit U.S. comedy which focuses on the tragic boss of a paper mill and his efforts to ingratiate himself with colleagues. It is actually based on the hit original UK show starring Ricky Gervais but most people in the USA will know this Steve Carell version. A classic scene in the last episode of season 2 sees boss Michael Scott arrange a charity casino night in the Dunder Mifflin basement. Cue much tragi-comedy casino play involving Scott as he attempts to win. The line ‘Will Lady Fortune give me raise?’ is particularly memorable.
Most American’s will at least know the hit show Friends even if they have never actually watched it. It has a gang of funny, cool New Yorkers try to navigate the pitfalls of life while being there for each other. The finale of season 5 saw them head out of New York to Vegas. Naturally, this involved plenty of casino-based comedy and action. It all begins with Joey working as a Gladiator in a casino to make money while Chandler treats Monica to a trip to Vegas separately. Cue much hilarity as they all meet up and enjoy the casino vibes that Sin City has to offer. Look out for the famous ‘Slots Lurker’ scene which features a mean old lady trying to make money from other people’s bad luck.
TV shows and casinos are a great match
Casinos are such exciting and dramatic places that is no wonder so many famous TV shows use this setting to their advantage. Whether it is comedy or drama, the casino is a rich environment for show producers to explore. It also allows them to introduce a wide variety of additional characters into the show and to put the main characters in a different setting for extra interest. If you are looking for famous shows with some great casino scenes, then the above are certainly worth watching.