Whether you prefer to play online casino games such as online roulette, hit up the tables in a brick-and-mortar casino, or bet on your favorite sports team, there can be no doubt that the fascination with gambling has created some of the most interesting stories around the world.
Join us as we take a look at some of these incredible tales in the following list of short and full-length documentaries, which include different types of casino games and sports betting and the many people who put it all on the line.
Bet Raise Fold: The Story of Online Poker
IMDB Rating: 7.4/10
Running time: 100 minutes
While poker has always been a popular casino and gambling game, it took the invention of the internet to raise its popularity to the next level. Set during the poker boom of the early 2000s, “Bet Raise Fold: The Story of Online Poker” is a casino documentary that follows the evolution of a new type of player, one that developed their game on the internet, their incredible and regular lives, and how the US government would eventually turn everything upside down with an event that came to be known in poker circles as “Black Friday.”
IMDB Rating: N/A
Running time: 75 minutes
He may not be quite as iconic as some of the other poker pros, but two-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner Thor Hansen was undoubtedly one of the best players to ever come out of the Norwegian poker scene. But Hansen’s life took a tragic turn when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given only months to live. However, he went on to live another six years after this diagnosis and “Smile” captures the last years of his life, ending with his eventual passing in 2018 at the age of 71. This is undoubtedly one of the best casino documentaries to take a closer look at a unique individual and his passion for the game.
Life On the Line
IMDB Rating: 6.1/10
Running time: 52 minutes
Sports betting has been a beloved pastime for many sports fans, but for some, it’s more than just a hobby – it’s how they earn a living. “Life On the Line” gives us a glimpse into the lives of some of the Las Vegas betting scene’s most dedicated sports bettors, including a man who some consider the world’s best football handicapper, Teddy Covers, also known as Teddy Sevransky. If you want to know more about the type of people who take sports betting very, very seriously, this betting documentary will give you plenty of insight into their lives and how they approach gambling during one of the year’s most important sports betting events, the Super Bowl. “Life On the Line” contains moments that rival any of the coolest moments you’ll see in casino movies and shows.
Now Place Your Bets
IMDB Rating: N/A
Running time: 92 minutes
In the trailer for “Now Place Your Bets,” the question is posed, “Have you ever wondered how sports betting became so popular?” Yes, we have another documentary that looks at sports betting, albeit with more of a focus on the history of the practice and how it’s intrinsically tied to the city of Las Vegas. This documentary looks at how sports betting grew into the multibillion-dollar industry that it is today, primarily through a number of interviews with key industry people.
All In: The Poker Movie
IMDB Rating: 6.7/10
Running time: 100 minutes
While this may not be the greatest gambling-focused documentary on our list – it has quite an unusual editing style for a documentary that many people may find off-putting – but if you’re a poker fan, it’s still one of our recommended watches.
“All In: The Poker Movie” is about the rise and fall of poker during the early 2000s. In this documentary, we get to hear from some of the greatest minds in poker, including Phil Helmuth and Phil Laak. Even Matt Damon, known for his cult poker classic film “Rounders,” joins in. The film covers the heyday of poker before the US poker scene was irrevocably changed by “Black Friday.”
60 Minutes – Sports Betting: Billy Walters
IMDB Rating: N/A
Running time: 60 minutes
The iconic TV show “60 Minutes” takes a look at sports betting through the eyes of one person in particular, legendary American entrepreneur, philanthropist and retired gambler, Billy Walters. CBSNews.com perfectly summarizes what you can expect to find in this intriguing episode of “60 Minutes”:
“When it comes to gambling, everybody knows the house has the advantage. But there are some high rollers who consistently win, and it’s hard to find anyone better at winning than Billy Walters.
He bets on football and basketball, is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and has been so successful that many Las Vegas bookmakers are afraid to even take his bets.
Walters has been almost as elusive as Howard Hughes, avoiding publicity, reluctant to reveal his secrets.
But after 30 years of unprecedented success, the man who calls himself a Kentucky hillbilly agreed for the first time to open the door into his betting life in Las Vegas – a life he describes as one long hustle – in betting parlors, in pool rooms, and on the golf course.”
If you’d like to find out more about one of America’s most successful gambling legends, be sure to check out this episode of “60 Minutes” for insights into the life of this incredibly private man.
Gambling Addiction & Me – The Real Hustler
IMDB Rating: 7.5
Running time: 57 minutes
If it’s a gambling addiction documentary that you’re after, then look no further than UK-based, “The Real Hustler.” This documentary follows Alexis Conran as he goes on a journey to discover more about his father’s gambling addiction and how he ended up in prison.
There are movies that can get things wrong about the casino and gambling industry, but this is not one of them. In fact, we consider it a must-watch for its real and often uncomfortable look at addiction and the impact it has on a family. While he looks at the addiction side of things, Conran also covers how casinos and companies are helping to prevent more people from becoming addicts and supporting those who already are.
Frontline: The Fantasy Sports Gamble
IMDB Rating: 6.7
Running time: 53 minutes
PBS and The New York Times are behind what is being critically acclaimed as one of the most progressive gambling documentaries in recent times. The documentary takes a closer look at the unregulated world of Fantasy Sports betting and gambling. It delves into the murky understanding of gambling taxes, license fees and the profit made by companies in what is technically classified as an entertainment industry. This documentary will give you a much better understanding of what goes on behind the scenes in this industry.
Have a Great Time When You Play at a Casino Online
While it’s undoubtedly fun to sit back, relax and take in the great stories from other gamblers from around the world, sometimes it’s even better to create your own story, which you can do at BetMGM. At our online casino, you can enjoy a great variety of games including online poker, online slots, variety games and much more!
Register at BetMGM to join the excitement!