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Ode to the Casino – The Best Use of Casinos in Film & TV

There are hundreds of options to choose from when it comes to a casino featuring in a film or television show, and there is a good reason for this.

In order to further explore this reason, let’s first take the word lion.

The denotation, literal or primary meaning of the word is a large mammal that lives in prides, often found in Africa and north-western India. However, the reason a company might use a lion as part of their overall branding is not because of its denotation, but because of its connotation. The connotation of a word or image is the idea or feeling it invokes; the commonly understood cultural or emotional association it carries. When it comes to a lion, this association is power, loyalty, wisdom, pride and authority, amongst others.

Similarly, the choice of location in a film or TV show also provokes an emotional reaction in the viewer. Often, the same location can be used for different reasons. For example, a house in the middle of nowhere could be used to invoke a feeling of solitude and peace, or one of fear and danger, depending on how it is used.

Much like the latest casino bonuses online, the casino as a location has proved again and again to be too good not to take advantage of. So, let’s take a closer look at three of the best uses of a casino in film and TV…



While Friends might come as a surprising inclusion, the use of a casino in “The One in Vegas”, a double length episode in season 5, is a fantastic example of taking full advantage of the fun side of a casino.

When we think of a casino, we often think of a sense of abandonment, a feeling of freedom and overall, a good time. When it comes to its use in Friends, we see the show take full advantage of all of these elements. This is an episode in which Ross and Rachel get married, Monica and Chandler almost do and, both Phoebe and Joey meet some interesting characters before eventually getting kicked out. This is the perfect example of why so many people wish that what happens in Vegas really did stay there!


Rain Man

This 1988 Oscar-winning film tells the story of a Charlie, a selfish, wheeler-dealer, played by Tom Cruise, and Raymond, his mathematically talented, autistic brother, portrayed by Dustin Hoffman. Another connotation of a casino is the feeling that anything is possible and Rain Man is a prime example of this.

Thanks to Raymond’s superb recall and calculator-esque brain, the brothers enter the casino believing that the world is their oyster and are ultimately proved right, having the time of their lives in the heart of Sin City!



Ozark has quickly established itself as one of the best television shows around since it first aired in 2017, and this is in no small part thanks to a casino playing a central role in the plot development. We can all easily make the connection between high-stakes and a casino so when the Byrd family decide to open their very own family-run casino in season 3, the stakes could not be higher.

A casino brings with it a constant feeling of both urgency and opportunity making it the perfect device to propel the Ozark storyline into top gear. Rarely has a location so perfectly mirrored the round the clock action of a television show’s characters so well.



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