Gambling culture is alive and kicking. In fact, it has taken various media formats by the storm. From the comfort of our home, we are able to enjoy a bunch of thrilling series that use gambling as much more than just a convenient backdrop. There is no shortage of classics, while newcomers to the stage, such as the sitcom “LA to Vegas,” suggest that the winning streak will continue in the years to come.
So, here is some prime-quality entertainment sure to leave you feeling lucky.
“Luck” is a drama created by seasoned TV veteran David Milch. Legendary Michael Mann directed the pilot, which immediately struck a chord with the audience. The show focuses on a group of characters who are all tied to the same horse race. The protagonist (played by Dustin Hoffman) makes a big race horse investment, launches a revenge plot, and engages in odds tampering. He also attempts to revive a racetrack with the help of casino gambling.
One of the best gambling TV series ever made, “Breaking Vegas” premiered on History Channel back in 2003. Its showrunners did not shy away from inspecting the illegal underbelly of gambling. In fact, many episodes shed light on cheating, scams, sleight of hand, card marking, and gizmo tricks. At other times, series explores legal techniques and tactics of winning at the table. One episode (Professor Blackjack) even revolves around a computer-based card-counting scheme that real casinos apply.
Although not a show only about gambling, “Boardwalk Empire” is one of those great things we enjoy as passionate gamblers. In one episode, the infamous kingpin Arnold Rothstein shows up. Not only that but he also gives the protagonist Nucky Thomson (played by amazing Steve Buscemi) a great piece of advice: “I wait, I plan, and I marshal my resources. And when I finally see an opportunity and there is a bet to make, I bet it all.” Ultimately, it did not help Nucky much, but maybe it can help you earn real money!
“Vegas,” an American period drama (set in the 60s) is a tight player. And no wonder: its co-creator is Las Vegas chronicler and screenwriter of an acclaimed Casino movie, Nicholas Pileggi. Initially, he wanted to make a movie, but decided that long-from show was a better outlet for the story he envisioned. The show portrayed the captivating world of the gambling Mecca, including clashes between law enforcement officers and mobsters. Sadly, CBS decided to ax the series after just one season.
“Kakegurui” — compulsive gambler
This one is something special — a Japanese manga-based series. It features a private academy for wealthy kids, who bet one against other via an intricate gambling system. Students unable to make contributions face dire consequences. They become “house pets”, which is nothing short of slavery. The stakes get even higher for students who fail to clear the debt until the end of school. Both anime and live action versions of Kakegurui are available on Netflix, so no excuses people.
“Do you have a favorite gambling-themed show that makes you crave fun or feel the buzz of hitting a jackpot? Did your show make this list? If not, what do you think is the best gambling-themed show to date? Let me know!”