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Gold Coast Magazine

The Influence of Gambling in Australian Cinema

Gambling has had a long-standing grasp on Australian society and culture. If we were to look at global statistics, we’d come to the realization that Australians gamble more than the vast majority of the world. In fact, Australia’s gambling market is among the top five most developed around the globe.

Of course, the grasp that casinos have on the Australian public can be felt in the country’s pop culture. Cinema especially has seen its fair share of influence from the gambling market. In this article, we’d like to explore the impact casinos have on film. However, in order to do that, we must delve into the relationship that Australians have with gambling.

Australia and Gambling

Australians have a deep passion for gambling. According to statistical analyses done around the world, the Australian online gambling industry is one of the biggest and most developed ones around the globe. Australian iGaming competes with the UK and USA.

The most popular games in Australian casinos are video poker games and online slots. However, Aussies have been known to engage with blackjack and roulette as well, especially with the advent of live gambling, which has made blackjack a lot more palatable to a broad audience.

There are also legal gambling websites that operate in Australia where you can play lottery games and wager on sports. Both of these online betting options are legal and in line with the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001.

Of course, Australia is also quite fond of land-based casinos and gambling, with pokies and blackjack being the primary games that Aussies enjoy. It is, primarily the land-based casino industry that has affected and influenced Australian cinema. So, without further ado, let us take a look at how it has done so.

Cinematic Backdrops

For the most part, the Australian film industry takes inspiration from land-based gambling establishments. After all, as popular as websites like the Daily Spins casino are, they haven’t become mainstream enough to play a huge role in the film industry just yet. However, land-based casinos certainly have.

The primary influence that gambling has had on the Australian cinematic industry is in terms of setting and set design. Anyone who calls themselves a movie buff has seen the numerous Hollywood films set primarily in casinos, such as Casino (1995), Casino Royale (2006), and even the Hangover series. However, not many movie buffs outside of Australia are familiar with the country’s bustling movie market, and the numerous Aussie films whose main story takes place in casinos.

The 1976 classic of Australian cinema, Caddie comes to mind. A truly poignant story, inspired by the life of Caddie Marsh. The film sees our protagonist deal with life as a barmaid, a gambler, and a single-mother. While casinos may not be the focus, they are certainly present throughout the movie.

If a comedic bent is more what you are looking for, Gregor Jordan’s Two Hands is an excellent comedy about a young Australian man’s involvement with gambling. After losing a large sum of cash to a casino, the 19-year-old Jimmy does whatever is in his power to pay off the gangsters who are in charge.

The film also benefits from a young Heath Ledger, who now everyone knows as one of the best Jokers in Batman films, in one of his earliest roles.

The casino continues to serve as a backdrop in Australian films to this day. Aussie filmmakers, screen writers and directors are still taking inspiration from the gambling industry. Indeed, quite soon, we may see a few films that deal primarily with online gambling.

Gambling as a Theme

The other primary influence that casinos have had on Australian cinema are gambling as a theme. Australian cinema has been getting a lot more recognition recently, with films like Love is in the Air, attaining a top 10 spot on Netflix. The world is finally seeing what many Australians have known for a while; Aussie filmmakers create some fantastic movies.

A primary example would be 2005’s excellent, gritty, love letter to the spaghetti western genre, The Proposition. The bulk of the movie deals with an outlaw forced to do the dirty work of a lawman, who is holding his brother hostage. However, throughout the movie, there is a gambling subplot which greatly enhances the overall experience.

Gambling is also a powerful theme in 2014’s Rover. Set in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian future, a man embarks on an adventure to retrieve his stolen car. Pretty soon, he becomes embroiled in a gambling industry. The film shows just how desperate certain gamblers can get, when they are pushed to the brink. An excellent film for fans of crime drama, as well as science fiction.

Cautionary Tales

The cautionary tale is one of the oldest forms of story-telling in human history. From Aesop’s Fables, to scary stories meant for children, people have been telling each other stories with a moral lesson since the dawn of humanity. This practice endures to this day. Filmmakers often tackle themes like addiction, and that is certainly true in Australian cinema.

The best example we can come up with is the 2008 neo-noir, gambling film The Square. The film’s story centers on Raymond Yale, whose gambling addiction has pushed him to the brink. He has put his job and his livelihood in danger by embezzling large amounts of money from his construction firm, in order to fund his gambling addiction.

The film does an excellent job of portraying the negative sides of gambling. Luckily, in 2024, problem gambling is being taken a lot more seriously, not just by the general public, but by the gambling industry itself. There are plenty of websites that share tips for overcoming problem gambling, and there are government-sponsored organizations, whose primary purpose is to ensure that online and land-based casinos are as safe as possible.

Final Thoughts on the Topic

Australian cinema is becoming more and more popular overseas. We are seeing notable Australian actors make it big in Hollywood with increasing frequency. The most notable of these is, of course Chris Hemsworth, whose stint as Thor, the God of Thunder, has done wonders for his career. Australian directors are also getting a lot more recognition, which is quite a positive for the Aussie film industry.

Gold Coast Magazine
Gold Coast Magazine

Our in-house team and affiliates bringing you the latest in Culture, Lifestyle and Entertainment from around the globe and the great stories of the Gold Coast

The Influence of Gambling in Australian Cinema

Gambling has had a long-standing grasp on Australian society and culture. If we were to look at global statistics, we’d come to the realization that Australians gamble more than the vast majority of the world. In fact, Australia’s gambling market is among the top five most developed around the globe.

Of course, the grasp that casinos have on the Australian public can be felt in the country’s pop culture. Cinema especially has seen its fair share of influence from the gambling market. In this article, we’d like to explore the impact casinos have on film. However, in order to do that, we must delve into the relationship that Australians have with gambling.

Australia and Gambling

Australians have a deep passion for gambling. According to statistical analyses done around the world, the Australian online gambling industry is one of the biggest and most developed ones around the globe. Australian iGaming competes with the UK and USA.

The most popular games in Australian casinos are video poker games and online slots. However, Aussies have been known to engage with blackjack and roulette as well, especially with the advent of live gambling, which has made blackjack a lot more palatable to a broad audience.

There are also legal gambling websites that operate in Australia where you can play lottery games and wager on sports. Both of these online betting options are legal and in line with the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001.

Of course, Australia is also quite fond of land-based casinos and gambling, with pokies and blackjack being the primary games that Aussies enjoy. It is, primarily the land-based casino industry that has affected and influenced Australian cinema. So, without further ado, let us take a look at how it has done so.

Cinematic Backdrops

For the most part, the Australian film industry takes inspiration from land-based gambling establishments. After all, as popular as websites like the Daily Spins casino are, they haven’t become mainstream enough to play a huge role in the film industry just yet. However, land-based casinos certainly have.

The primary influence that gambling has had on the Australian cinematic industry is in terms of setting and set design. Anyone who calls themselves a movie buff has seen the numerous Hollywood films set primarily in casinos, such as Casino (1995), Casino Royale (2006), and even the Hangover series. However, not many movie buffs outside of Australia are familiar with the country’s bustling movie market, and the numerous Aussie films whose main story takes place in casinos.

The 1976 classic of Australian cinema, Caddie comes to mind. A truly poignant story, inspired by the life of Caddie Marsh. The film sees our protagonist deal with life as a barmaid, a gambler, and a single-mother. While casinos may not be the focus, they are certainly present throughout the movie.

If a comedic bent is more what you are looking for, Gregor Jordan’s Two Hands is an excellent comedy about a young Australian man’s involvement with gambling. After losing a large sum of cash to a casino, the 19-year-old Jimmy does whatever is in his power to pay off the gangsters who are in charge.

The film also benefits from a young Heath Ledger, who now everyone knows as one of the best Jokers in Batman films, in one of his earliest roles.

The casino continues to serve as a backdrop in Australian films to this day. Aussie filmmakers, screen writers and directors are still taking inspiration from the gambling industry. Indeed, quite soon, we may see a few films that deal primarily with online gambling.

Gambling as a Theme

The other primary influence that casinos have had on Australian cinema are gambling as a theme. Australian cinema has been getting a lot more recognition recently, with films like Love is in the Air, attaining a top 10 spot on Netflix. The world is finally seeing what many Australians have known for a while; Aussie filmmakers create some fantastic movies.

A primary example would be 2005’s excellent, gritty, love letter to the spaghetti western genre, The Proposition. The bulk of the movie deals with an outlaw forced to do the dirty work of a lawman, who is holding his brother hostage. However, throughout the movie, there is a gambling subplot which greatly enhances the overall experience.

Gambling is also a powerful theme in 2014’s Rover. Set in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian future, a man embarks on an adventure to retrieve his stolen car. Pretty soon, he becomes embroiled in a gambling industry. The film shows just how desperate certain gamblers can get, when they are pushed to the brink. An excellent film for fans of crime drama, as well as science fiction.

Cautionary Tales

The cautionary tale is one of the oldest forms of story-telling in human history. From Aesop’s Fables, to scary stories meant for children, people have been telling each other stories with a moral lesson since the dawn of humanity. This practice endures to this day. Filmmakers often tackle themes like addiction, and that is certainly true in Australian cinema.

The best example we can come up with is the 2008 neo-noir, gambling film The Square. The film’s story centers on Raymond Yale, whose gambling addiction has pushed him to the brink. He has put his job and his livelihood in danger by embezzling large amounts of money from his construction firm, in order to fund his gambling addiction.

The film does an excellent job of portraying the negative sides of gambling. Luckily, in 2024, problem gambling is being taken a lot more seriously, not just by the general public, but by the gambling industry itself. There are plenty of websites that share tips for overcoming problem gambling, and there are government-sponsored organizations, whose primary purpose is to ensure that online and land-based casinos are as safe as possible.

Final Thoughts on the Topic

Australian cinema is becoming more and more popular overseas. We are seeing notable Australian actors make it big in Hollywood with increasing frequency. The most notable of these is, of course Chris Hemsworth, whose stint as Thor, the God of Thunder, has done wonders for his career. Australian directors are also getting a lot more recognition, which is quite a positive for the Aussie film industry.

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Gold Coast Magazine

Gold Coast Magazine

Our in-house team and affiliates bringing you the latest in Culture, Lifestyle and Entertainment from around the globe and the great stories of the Gold Coast