Cinema, Casino, and the Emergence of Online Gaming Industry

Casino Royale, starring Daniel Craig, Mads Mikkelsen, Directed by Martin Campbell,
A Still from Casino Royale (2006)
Cinema and casino have a lot in common. First and foremost, both serve to dispel the occasional bursts of boredom that creeps in every now and then in each of our lives. Casino is all about glitz and glamor associated with the bon vivant lifestyle. It’s a symbol of opulence as well as carefreeness. Cinema too is often associated with leisure and luxury. We all have seen Ian Fleming’s James Bond exuding his larger-than-life mystique on the celluloid in over two dozen films, out of which three films are closely related to casino: Casino Royale (1967), starring Peter Sellers and David Niven; Diamond for Forever (1971), starring Sean Connery; Casino Royale (2006), starring Daniel Craig. Some more important films that come to mind are Gambling Lady (1930), The Gambler (1974)—an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Fyodor Dostoevsky—Goodfellas (1990), The Music of Chance (1993), and Casino (1995). Just like we have casino inspired movies, there are movie inspired casino games. The online gaming industry has been growing at a rapid pace since its inception during the mid-1990s. 

The Entertainment industry spends billions of dollars every year to cater to the needs of the audiences worldwide and yet it’s not enough to meet everyone’s requirements. After all, different people have different tastes. For example, there are those who prefer watching reality shows to daily soaps. While some prefer watching movie channels, there are others who like watching news and current affair shows. There are sections of audiences which are particularly interested in watching sports, fashion, health, leisure, or adventure programmes.

There was a time when theatre was the most visceral mode of entertainment available to the masses. The Greek were the pioneers of this collaborative form of fine art. As a matter of fact, the word “theatre” is derived from the Ancient Greek “théatron”—a place for viewing. Modern Western theatre has borrowed a lot from the ancient Greek drama: be it the technical terminology, classification into genres, or the conception of themes, characters and plot elements. Since then, the scope of theatre has got broadened insofar that today it includes performances of plays and musicals, ballets, operas and various other forms.

The 20th century saw the boom of cinema as the definitive means of entertainment as filmmakers became as celebrated as playwrights and composers of old. The second half of the 20th century saw the advent of the internet and with it changed everything. As new modes of digital entertainment started to pour in the art of simulation made the hitherto impossible possible. Every aspect and attribute of the real world can now be captured through the power of computer simulation. Speaking of the entertainment industry, those who can’t afford to do things in the real world can now play games online round the clock; playing indoor games, outdoor games, card games, etc. is now just a one-click affair.

As per the available figures, the interactive gaming market’s estimated worth was € 26.1 billion in the year 2013 with CAGR of 10.1% up to 2018. These new trends are a clear indicator of the growing reach of the online gaming industry that has paved the way for the emergence of a number of international, multi-product operators. There is a marked shift in the online gaming industry towards regulated markets in Europe and elsewhere that can be looked upon as a major factor in the furthering of the online gaming industry in the coming years.

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your valuable thoughts are highly appreciated!  

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  1. Recently had the privilege of watching Sam Peckinpah's "The Wild Bunch" at a film festival conducted by the American Center... this was my second viewing of the film... I had seen it first time about half a decade back while I was in college pursuing my Bachelors and I must say that the movie had impressed me a lot even back then, but this time around the impact was of a different order altogether... needless to say, I was literally blown away by its sheer raw power. I salute Peckinpah and team for their vision and resolve. The Wild Bunch is indeed a masterwork of cinematic art. To acknowledge it, I have decided to add it to my list of Top 100 films... it replaces The Eastern Promises.

  2. Dude... "The Network (1976)" ....
    I am glad, you've got 'Magnolia' & 'Crash' :)
    I'll look up to this for a long time:)

  3. That's quite the impressive list; every single one there is a genuine classic and worthy of inclusion at such a high level. While I might personally be inclined to add the likes of "Taxi Driver" and "Pulp Fiction", their omissions can be attributed to differing tastes and the limited number of spots. There are, however, four films where I cannot for the life of me fathom how they could be absent from this 100.

    1&2) "Unforgiven" and "Once Upon a Time in the West"

    These are just superb films, regardless of whether you enjoy the Western genre or not, and despite that their pacing and tone makes them less accessible than the earlier Spaghettis there is just no way either of them can rank lower than the entertaining but shallow "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly". Both exemplify the quintessential Western values and add the same time subvert them, proving to be great deconstructions of the genre. I personally prefer "Once Upon a Time in the West" of the two because I feel its world is richer and better fleshed out, but "Unforgiven" manages to examine the darkness at the heart of the West and its central character in such a compelling way it merited mention as well. How could neither of them be here?

    3) "The Shawshank Redemption"

    I feel no need to explain this one.

    4) "Blade Runner"

    The best science-fiction film ever without question for me. The 'tears in rain' speech alone solidifies that position, but the perfect character arcs of Deckard and Batty, the pulsating moral questions at the core of the story, the blurring of the lines between 'human' and not, the hopelessly dark and oppressive landscape, the beautiful and haunting score, the breathtaking visuals and spectacular fight sequences all make this a riveting and unforgettable experience, one that eclipses any other of the same genre.

    Also, "Blood Simple" over "Fargo" and "No Country for Old Men"? Inexplicable.

    Inevitably I have commented on my points of disagreement. In general, I like or love every film you have here, and many of them are genuine classics. That I only have, at most, five points of contention should attest to that.

  4. Firstly, let me thank you for sharing your valuable thoughts on my Top 100. I must confess that it's difficult not to give in to highly convincing arguments.

    I just adore Unforgiven and Once Upon a Time in the West... but, one can only have so many films in one's Top 100... as much as I love OUTW, my love for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is just unparalleled... it's the movie that made me fall in love with Leone's cinema and so I am just helpless. As a Western, Unforgiven and OUTW may be better films but in terms of pure cinematic delight, TGTBTU is difficult to match. But, when I prepare my Top 100 for 2015, I will make sure to revisit each of the three films to get a fresh perspective as to which of them must be on the list.

    Blade Runner is a masterpiece, no denying that, but the fact that it took Ridley Scott five different versions to perfect it (The Final cut is the best, IMO) sometimes annoys me. When I think of the movie, I think of at least three version that are available and each of the can stand on its own (Roger Ebert has explained the conundrum beautifully in his review). So, I just don't know which one to include... there is so much confusion that I chose not to include it at all.

    Regarding Blood Simple, I feel it's the closest the Coens have come to achieving raw brilliance from pure cinematic point of view... I just cannot put any other Coen film ahead of it!!! :-)

  5. A striking lack of British movies. Mike Leigh? Michael Winterbottom? Shane Meadows? Intersting choice of Kurosawa for 5 entries, however no other Japanese directors? An interesting list nevertheless. I enjoy reading your reviews.

  6. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. In my Top 100, you will find films of Attenborough, Mike Hodges, Alfred Hitchcock (Frenzy was made in the UK), Stanley Kubrick (given he made all his later films in the UK), David Lean, Charles Chaplin. among others. But, you have raised quite a valid point, I do need to explore the works of some of the contemporary British filmmakers. I have just reached the tip of the iceberg in that regard.
    Also, I am a bit biased to Kurosawa but you will also find a film or two of Masaki Kobayashi's on the list. Now, I am aware that there are other eminent Japanese filmmakers as well that I need to follow more closely.
    So, basically, my Top 100 is a work in progress and is far from being done!!! :-)


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