How Pop Culture Is Shaping the Casino Scene

min read
four people sitting at a poker table playing blackjack
BetMGM Jun 13, 2023, 4:44 AM

If anything has helped the casino industry make gambling part of everyday life, it’s pop culture. It has thoroughly transformed the casino scene and the perception of gambling, from land-based casinos to online gaming. Before pop culture exploded with casino references, many people considered gambling a taboo. But celebrities, movies, music and television have made online casino games popular and influenced the design of gambling websites, also leading to celebrities endorsing and promoting casinos.

What Is Pop Culture?

But what exactly is pop(ular) culture? It’s what we see in music, movies, television shows, fashion, art, literature, sports, technology and internet trends. Pop culture shows us the tastes, interests and values of other people and influences what people think, how they dress and, in this case, how they gamble. With the growth of social media, people can connect with a worldwide community, expressing their preferences and opinions. It gives people a sense of belonging and a feeling that they can actively participate in shaping cultural norms.

Movies and Shows That Changed Attitudes

Movies and television shows have had a massive role in promoting the casino industry by showing people playing casino games. The shows offer different perspectives on the casino industry, showcasing its appeal and entertainment value, while as far as films go, we’ve seen everything from heists and poker games to comedic adventures.

Las Vegas”

This series is set in the fictional Montecito Resort and Casino, offering a glimpse into the glamorous world of the casino industry.

Boardwalk Empire

“Boardwalk Empire” portrays the influence of casinos in Atlantic City during the Prohibition era.

“The Casino”

“The Casino” is a reality series that follows the operations of a Las Vegas casino, providing an inside look into its management and entertainment aspects. 

Ocean’s Eleven”

“Ocean’s Eleven” follows a group of con artists plotting an ambitious casino robbery in Las Vegas.

“Casino Royale”

Part of the iconic James Bond series, this film features a sophisticated high-stakes poker game at the renowned Casino Royale.

The Hangover”

In “The Hangover,” a group of friends wake up after a wild night in Las Vegas and embark on a hilarious journey to piece together their escapades into casino culture.

Vegas Vacation”

Finally, there is “Vegas Vacation.” Part of the “National Lampoon’s Vacation” series, it takes the Griswold family to Las Vegas for comedic moments while portraying the lively atmosphere of casinos.

Celebrity Support

Celebrities who gamble have made the biggest difference in the growth of the casino industry, some hosting and playing exclusive poker games, while others promote online gaming or have casino endorsements. Using celebrities in marketing has helped attract new players, especially younger audiences, who are more likely to be influenced by their favorite stars. Celebrities add excitement, glamor and credibility; some even get their own casino games online or act as live dealers. 

The list of celebrities who play casino games or have gaming connections is almost endless, but here are 10 major influencers.

George Clooney

This actor-filmmaker has been associated with a few casino-related endorsements and promotions over the years.

Ben Affleck

Apart from his successful acting career, Affleck is known for his passion for gambling. He’s been spotted playing poker in prominent casinos and has also endorsed certain casino brands.

Pamela Anderson

The actress and model has been involved in several casino promotions, often appearing at casino events and endorsing casino-related products.

Kim Kardashian

As a reality TV star and entrepreneur, this Kardashian has been involved in various promotional campaigns for casinos, including hosting events and endorsing casino brands.

Tiger Woods

Mainly known for his golfing career, Woods also has casino endorsements with poker tournaments.

Michael Phelps

The Olympic swimmer has been associated with online poker platforms and has played in online poker tournaments.

Paris Hilton

The socialite and businesswoman has been involved in promoting online casinos and poker platforms through endorsements and appearances at online gambling events.

Samuel L. Jackson

The acclaimed actor has appeared in advertisements promoting online casino games, indicating his support for the online gambling sector.

Shane Warne

The former Australian cricketer has been associated with online poker and has been involved in supporting online gambling platforms.

Boris Becker

The tennis legend has been a brand ambassador for online poker platforms and has actively supported online gambling.

Who Else Is Involved?

The above is not an exhaustive list of celebrities who’ve endorsed casino culture in some way. Footballer and actor Vinnie Jones is a live dealer in online roulette and blackjack games, while jockey Frankie Dettori has a slot game. Martial arts star Bruce Lee even features as a wild in a video slot game!

That said, casinos have been known to ban celebrities for bad behavior. NBA star Allen Iverson, singer Vince Neil and UFC President Dana White are among those who have been called out.

The Influence on Casino Culture

The growing popularity of casinos is proof of the changes pop culture made. The result is a wider selection of casino games online and a wider choice of operators. Casinos have benefited by attracting more players and generating higher revenue. The “Wall Street Journal” said this year that online casino games generated $5 billion in 2022, up 35% from the previous year. 

To keep up with pop culture, casinos will always find new ways to tap in, such as offering movie-themed online slots, creating games based on popular TV shows and hosting celebrity-themed events. Social media platforms are also used to engage with players and provide behind-the-scenes glimpses of the casino world. These changes have made gambling more mainstream and acceptable, attracting a broader audience and creating a more exciting and glamorous casino experience.

Look For Celebs Online at BetMGM

To explore online gaming and see for yourself how pop culture has influenced casino culture, register with BetMGM. We offer casino games, video slots, live dealer games and esports betting. Our user-friendly app is optimized for mobile gaming on the go. Sign up with BetMGM for more!

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.