Images of gambling in film

Abstract

This article examines the depiction of gambling in recent films. Often gambling is portrayed either very positively or very negatively. The authors found eight overlapping themes represented in these movies: (1) pathological gambling, (2) the magical skill of the professional gambler, (3) miraculous wins as happy endings, (4) gamblers are suckers, (5) gamblers cheat, (6) gambling is run by organized crime, (7) the casino heist, and (8) gambling as a symbolic backdrop to the story. These themes suggest that the portrayal of gambling in movies has a number of interesting distortions. The discussion centres on how these distortions have an impact on efforts to accurately disseminate information about gambling to the general public.

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