Top 6 Gambling Documentaries Available on TV
The thrill and excitement of visiting a casino is something that we all enjoy, but watching a good gambling documentary at home can be just as entertaining.
We all love the hustle and bustle of the casino floor. Lights are flashing, machines are chiming away, and excited punters are milling around. Some of us might have even visited our local cinemas to watch a casino-themed movie. But, if you are stuck at home, don’t despair – there are countless quality gambling documentaries available to give you hours of entertainment in front of your TV.
Here are some of the top gambling documentaries to look out for:
1. Louis Theroux: Gambling in Las Vegas
Regarded as one of the best gambling documentaries, it follows Louis Theroux, the often-controversial investigative journalist from the UK, as he travels to Las Vegas to meet gamblers who frequent local casinos. Theroux also engages casino employees to find out what it takes to keep gamblers motivated to continue taking risks while chasing jackpots.
One of the main characters is Dr Martha Ogman, a retiree who admits to losing more than US$4 million over a seven-year period by playing slot machines. Her son, Seth, is quite unhappy that his mother is gambling away his inheritance. Louise Theroux: Gambling in Las Vegas endorses the notion that anyone could become a gambling addict.
2. Cheating Las Vegas
This documentary shows how the most cunning conmen get into Sin City’s casinos to win large amounts of money. Narrated by James Woods, the film follows Las Vegas double-dealers and the clever ways they circumvent casino security. Security camera footage is also shown, and both cheaters and casino employees share their stories.
There is even one account of a jeweller who cheated the casino by smelting silver and creating counterfeit coins. The jeweller won a large sum of money but didn’t serve much time in jail after being caught. Cheating Las Vegas also shows the extreme risks some individuals are prepared to take to support their gambling habits and the ways casinos affect their daily lives.
3. The Best of It
This documentary explores the lives of professional gamblers. It follows Shrink, Boston, Dink, and Banker, who make a living from betting on sports. The Best of It shares the ups and downs of this lifestyle and the challenges that accompany it to make a living.
4. Out of Luck
The gambling documentary Out of Luck suggests that the biggest American “casinos” are the lotteries. The film explores how the poorest and least-educated Americans are affected by state-run lotteries, with 15% of lottery players contributing to 80% of lottery profits. The documentary also narrates the story of a man who owned a convenience store. He eventually purchased over a million dollars in lottery tickets at his store and ended up bankrupt.
5. Now Place Your Bets
Now Place your Bets examines sports betting and its growing popularity in Sin City. The film explores how sports betting became popular globally and turned into a multibillion-dollar industry. It includes several interviews, as well as footage of gamblers, who share their personal stories of the world of sports betting and how it expanded over the years.
The film also explores how Las Vegas, a place known for gambling and entertainment, is evolving and sheds light on how organised crime syndicates and corporate institutions often oversee sports betting. It even shows how the US government is connected to some betting operations. Casino owners, journalists, bookmakers, and gamblers are interviewed about various shocking and life-changing events in the gambling world.
There are several sports-betting icons featured, including Dennis Tobler, Jimmy Vaccaro, Bob Martin, and Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal. They discuss the life of a professional gambler and how the obsession with money is the central tenet of professional gambling.
6. Life on the Line
Life on the Line examines punters who gamble on the Super Bowl. Top professional sports bettors gather in Las Vegas during the Super Bowl weekend, the year’s most significant betting event. The professionals bet astutely based on observations and past wins, while novices and risk-takers bet hastily and often lose big.