Coin Board

Raffles As Gambling

Raffles are not commonly associated with gambling, but are in fact exactly that; a simple form of gambling. The only real difference between buying a raffle ticket and playing a slot machine is the odds of wining, and how the game is presented. And, one should keep in mind; the odds of winning when playing a slot machine are infinitely better. Raffles are dressed up to seem like more then simply buying a ticket and hoping for the best, but the basis of the system is always the same; the more people buy tickets, the less chance each person has of winning a prize. Raffles, therefore, are similar in a sense to tote betting, which involves bet makers at a race track winning money based on how many others made the same bet, should that bet win. That is to say, the more people that participate, the worse for any individual bet maker.

Coin Board

A coin board involves people buying tickets, with the potential for ticket numbers to match up with prizes. It is unknown which ticket will grant a prize, of course, so each person is essentially gambling on a ticket having any value at all. What makes a coin board stand apart from other forms of raffles is that the prizes are seductively presented on a board, with winning ticket numbers displayed beside each prize.

The prizes may be a large cash sum, or, in days of old, might have been a coin of considerable value, hence the name coin board. The act of displaying the prizes does not make the chance of winning any better, or the process of simply buying a ticket and hoping for the best any different, it is simply a matter of presenting a gambling game in a way that is enticing. What is also most interesting about these games is that they are acceptable in places where other forms of gambling would simply not be.

System Evolution

Another interesting aspect of coin boards is how they evolved over the years. Instead of offering cash prizes, coin boards began to offer merchandise instead. Items of value would be placed on the board, with ticket buyers having the chance to win the object. The prizes are generally of moderate value, but in most cases far less value then the cash previously offered. Those buying tickets, however, are not aware of the exact value of the prizes.

The prizes, therefore, offered a similar allure while reducing the amount having to be paid out by event organisers. Similar tactics can be seen in carnivals, or in old-fashioned video game arcades, where tickets earned at games bought prizes of little monetary value. The trick is to find prizes that have sentimental value, as apposed to real value. A teddy bear sells itself on the cute factor, getting a positive response from almost everyone, depending on the design of the toy. Material and stuffing, however, has very little monetary value, and is not at all expensive. A teddy bear, therefore, is a way to sell stuffing and material at a much higher value then it is worth.

Casinos in Spain

Major Land Based Casinos in Spain

Casino gaming is a very popular pastime in Spain, making the country one of the most forefront world regions based on revenues generated by gambling. Due to this and to Spain’s popularity with tourists, there are over 40 land based casinos located throughout the country.

To cater to both local and international casino players, most of the land based casinos in Spain offer familiar casino table games like blackjack, baccarat, punto banco and roulette, as well as some more unique or regional games like Spanish poker.

Casino Gran Madrid in Madrid

The Casino Gran Madrid is one of the most well-known casinos in Spain, and the casino is situated in the Spanish capital of Madrid as indicated by its name. Visitors to the Casino Gran Madrid will find a variety of amenities that includes bars, a nightclub and convention facilities, as well as the casino itself.

When playing at the Casino Gran Madrid, players will be able to choose from a number of slot machines and casino table games like French and American roulette, blackjack, punto banco and electronic casino game tables as well. Also offered by the casino are sports betting facilities and regular poker tournaments.

Casino Cirsa Valencia in Valencia

The Casino Cirsa Valencia is based in the major Spanish city of Valencia along the Spanish-Mediterranean coast. Valencia is the third largest city in Spain after Barcelona and Madrid, and many thousands of tourists are attracted to the region each year.

The newly built Casino Cirsa Valencia offers 116 slot machines and as many as 14 different table games, which are operated between 16:00 and 04:00 each day. On offer at the casino are roulette, poker, blackjack and more, as well as Texas Hold’em poker tournaments. Other amenities at the Casino Cirsa Valencia include restaurants, terraces and a party room that can seat 400 guests.

 

Gran Casino Sardinero in Santander

The Gran Casino Sardinero is located in the Spanish region of Santander, Cantabria. With 9 poker tables, slots, and a selection of table games, visitors to the Gran Casino Sardinero can play the slots from 14:00 to 04:00 and table games from 20:00 to 04:00.

As well as poker and Texas Hold’em tournaments, the casino also offers electronic casino game tables such as electronic roulette. A wedding salon and a showroom can also be found at the Gran Casino Sardinero.

Casino Zaragoza in Aragon

Yet another of the most popular casinos in Spain is the Casino Zaragoza which can be found in the region of Aragon, a historical area which was once part of a medieval kingdom. Today, the Casino Zaragoza offers over 60 slots games, which can be played between 22:00 and 04:30.

Also on offer is a selection of 18 classic casino game tables, at which casino players can enjoy blackjack, baccarat, roulette and Spanish poker between 18:00 and 04:00. Poker tournaments are frequently hosted at the Casino Zaragoza, and the casino premises is also home to a variety of restaurants, eateries and conference facilities.

Casinos in Lebanon

Land Based Casinos in Lebanon

Out of all the countries in the Middle East, Lebanon has one of the most colourful histories when it comes to casino gaming. This history is owed mainly to the Casino du Liban, which is one of the most well-known casinos in Lebanon and many the many other countries that surround the region.

Impressively, the Casino du Liban continued to operate for years despite the civil war until it closed for renovation, further adding to the historical value of the establishment. The casino is still in operation today, and serves as the main casino gaming establishment in Lebanon.

The Casino du Liban in Lebanon

The Casino du Liban is located in the region of Maameltein, overlooking the bay of Jounieh. This region is situated just 22 kilometres north of the Lebanese capital of Beirut. The casino was officially opened in 1959, where it operated throughout political turbulence right up until 1989.

At this point, the Casino du Liban was closed briefly to be refurbished and renovated, a project which cost close to $50 million in total. The casino reopened during 1996, and has continued to operate in Maameltein since.

Casino Gaming at Casino du Liban

The Casino du Liban contains a relatively large casino, which spans over 35,000 square metres of gaming space. The casino houses over 400 slots and video poker machines, as well as 4 separate casino table game rooms.

The International Room and the Mediterranean Room are both open from 16:00 to 04:00 each day, while the Cercle d’Or Room and the Salles Privees for high rollers open from 22:00 to 04:00.

Table Games and Texas Hold’em Tournaments

Each of the casino gaming rooms at the Casino du Liban offers blackjack, American roulette, punto banco and stud poker, while the international room also offers slot machines and progressive jackpot slots.

There is also a section of the casino dedicated entirely to slots, which can be played from 10:00 to 06:00 every day. The slots in the International Room and the Mediterranean Room are available between the hours of 16:00 and 04:00.

Additionally, the Casino du Liban started hosting Texas Hold’em Poker tournaments in 2007, and the casino continues to hold weekly poker tournaments which attract a variety of high profile Middle Eastern poker players.

Casino du Liban Entertainment and Performances

Entertainment at the Casino du Liban is offered mainly at the Theatre du Liban. This large theatre can seat over 1,000 spectators, and hosts local Lebanese plays, international operas and ballets, Broadway theatre productions, music concerts, jazz festivals and comedies.

Another performance and event venue at the casino is the Salles des Ambassadeurs. This 600-seat banquet venue and theatre also hosts regular performances and shows for guests at the Casino du Liban.

Dining and Nightlife at the Casino

Dining and nightlife at the Casino du Liban can be found at the International Room and the Cercle d’Or Room, both of which have their own in-house restaurants which can only be visited by casino players.

Another nearby venue is La Martingale Restaurant and Summer Terrace, which hosts live entertainment and offers both indoor dining and dining on their terrace with a view of the Jounieh bay.

Fan-tan

The History of the Game of Fan-Tan

While fan-tan is no longer as widely known as it once was, with modern gambling games replacing it by and large, it used to be one of the most popular pastimes for the Chinese settlers in the United States of America.  The large section of San Francisco that the Chinese settled in, known as Chinatown, was home to many venues that provided for this game to be played during the 19th century. In 1889 there were 50 fan-tan games available in San Francisco’s Chinatown, and these further housed between one and 24 tables each, according to the room’s size. These facts were recorded for posterity by Jesse B. Cook, San Francisco’s former police commissioner.

Learn to Play Fan-Tan Online

Thanks to the Internet, a game of fan-tan is now never further away from an interested player than his or her device is, and it is very enjoyably played on a number of different types of these, including smartphones; tablets; desktop computers and laptops. Thanks to the fact that the majority of online casinos provide players with the opportunity of free play as well, wherein no real money risks are necessary, even those who have never heard of the game will be able to learn it at exactly the pace that suits them. The anonymity of the Internet allows players who may be intimidated by brick and mortar casino games to learn them in a totally stress-free environment, and real money betting only begins when the player decides that he or she is ready to do so.

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The Rules for Fan-Tan Play

Fan-Tan is also known as sevens; parliament and card dominoes. It allows for between three and eight players, but is best enjoyed by four individuals.

The object of Fan-Tan is to be the first player who manages to play off all their cards, and there is a standard 52 card deck in use for the game. Aces are valued as low.

Play begins with each of the individuals taking part receiving an equal amount of chips. Cards are then dealt one at a time to each player until the entire pack has been dealt. It is not important if some players receive one card fewer than the rest.

Play begins with the individual to the left of the dealer, and each person taking part must play either a seven, or add on to cards in suit succession, either descending or ascending from the seven. Once a seven is in play, for example, both the eight and the six are possibilities for play. If the eight is put down, the nine can follow; if the six is used then playing a five becomes an option. Card sequences will ascend up to the king and descend down to the ace. Once an end card has been played the row is folded up and turned over.

When a player is unable to play a card, he or she will pass and add a chip into the kitty. Whoever manages to finish his or her cards first will be the winner of the money collected in the kitty, along with one chip for each card left in the remaining players’ hands.

Ultimate Texas Hold’em

Ultimate Texas Hold’em

Ultimate Texas Hold’em, based on the classic Texas Hold’em game, was invented and developed by Roger Snow of Shuffle Master. It is one of the newer Poker variations, and is very in demand in Las Vegas and around the rest of North America.

The game was originally available on multi-player electronic machines only, but its popularity increased steadily over the years and it was expanded into a table game. Today it is played in several land-based and online casinos.

Ultimate Texas Hold’em Basics

A single 52-card deck is used in this game, and to begin players need to make a Blind and an Ante Bet. The Ante remains in play even after a Raise has been made and even if the Dealer does not open, which makes Ultimate Texas Hold’em quite unique among Poker game variations.

After the bets are placed, the players and the Dealer are all given 2 cards. The player can see his or her cards, but nobody else’s, and must decide whether to check or to raise the Ante by 3 or 4 times based on this information.

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The remaining 5 cards of the hand are dealt as community cards, and everyone can see and use them. The first 3 of these are dealt in a round called the Flop. One of the key features of Ultimate Texas Hold’em is that you can raise once, and are then done with your active part of the game. The earlier you Raise, the more you are allowed to bet, so players who did not Raise the Ante before the Flop are now given the option to do so, but only by 2. Once this is resolved, the last 2 community cards are revealed.

At this point, players need to match their Ante or choose to Fold. After this is done all hands are revealed and assessed in combination with the community cards. The Dealer’s hand must contain at least a pair to qualify. If this is not the case, the ante pushes no matter what is in a player’s hand. If the Dealer does qualify, then of course the best hand wins the Ante.

If a player beats the Dealer, their Raise is matched while ties push the Raise and the Blind Bet. If the Dealer beats a Player, the Raise and the Blind are both lost. If a Dealer is disqualified, the Raise and the Blind remain in place.

It’s also possible to make a side Trips Bet, which pays out according to your final hand. This means you are always paid something unless you only hold a pair or less, but the House Edge is usually substantially higher than for the main wagers. Other side bets might also be available.

Developing Ultimate Texas Hold’em Strategy

As with all Poker variations there are plenty of analyses available for this one, with specific instructions on what to do in every possible circumstance.

Players will also develop their own skills and tactics over time, especially if they take advantage of the free play options that are available online. This is a great way to try out new advice or tools, or just to practice. When they feel ready they can start placing real money bets.

Things Change

Brilliant Mamet Writing in Things Change

Things Change is a 1988 comedy film co-written and directed by David Mamet. As a playwright and moviemaker, Mamet is revered the world over for his intricate plots and brilliant dialogue. Things Change displays both of these talents to the fullest, using a typical Mamet ensemble cast.

Many of the actors in Things Change, including Joe Mantegna, William H Macy and JT Walsh, are regulars in Mamet films. They had all appeared in House Of Games, Mamet’s previous crime drama, in 1987. On the face of it, Things Change takes place in a similar criminal underworld, but Mamet manages to reveal the good beneath the superficial evil of the mobsters’ world.

A Plot of Misunderstandings

Veteran actor Don Ameche is the star of Things Change, playing a humble Italian-American shoeshine man called Gino. Gino is summoned by a Chicago mob boss and talked into confessing to a crime he didn’t commit. In return for a three-year jail stretch, Gino will be rewarded with his retirement dream; his own fishing boat.

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Mantegna plays Jerry, a low-level mobster assigned to keep an eye on Gino over the weekend preceding his confession. On a whim, Jerry takes Gino to Lake Tahoe for the weekend, where the two book into a resort and casino. Then the head of the local mafia mistakes Gino for an even more senior mob boss, and he befriends Gino, while Jerry is terrified that they will be found out. Back in Chicago, when Jerry learns he’s actually supposed to kill Gino, he is faced with some tough choices.

Intricate Writing and Acting Provide the Laughs                               

A bald outline of the plot does not do justice to a Mamet comedy, of course. His genius is taking simple, everyday language and using careful phrasing and simple repetition to create alternative meanings and clever comedy. At the same time, the humour is heightened by the constant menace undercutting the scenes, and viewers are never unaware of how much danger Gino is in.

The other key to the success of Things Change is the performances, particularly Ameche’s. His humble shoeshine guy, who is careful not to lie but is by no means a passive victim, is beautifully played. He makes the idea of a mobster so powerful that no one has ever heard of him believable.

Mamet is also known for ensemble work rather than star vehicles, and the other roles are also perfectly cast, leading to great interplay among the characters. Mantegna gets the tough-guy-with-a-soft-heart spot-on, and even Robert Prosky’s Nevada mob boss is a layered character, with levels of good and evil within himself.

Close Attention to Details Required

Like all Mamet works, Things Change is full of convoluted plot twists, with characters trying to deceive each other constantly. Audiences need to be awake and paying attention to follow it all, and it will appeal mostly to those who enjoy clever, intricate dialogue, with meaningful pauses and silences that are just as important as the action. For those who do make the effort, however, Things Change presents a skilful blend of wit, violence and farce.

The Mississippi Gambler

Fine Western Drama in The Mississippi Gambler

From Hollywood’s golden age, The Mississippi Gambler combines impressive sets, lavish costumes and a large cast in a sequence of eye-catching set-pieces, to tell a tale of high-stakes card play and, of course, a somewhat melodramatic love story. Made in 1953, The Mississippi Gambler stars Tyrone Power and Piper Laurie, along with a solid cast of supporting players.

The film was directed by Rudolph Mate and filmed in Technicolor, which at the time still counted as an added attraction. It is set in the late 19th Century, and the action takes place in the gambling saloons of Mississippi riverboats and in New Orleans. The Mississippi Gambler was one of Power’s last films, as he was focusing more on stage work in the last years of his life. It also helped establish Laurie as a leading lady, and performed well at the box office to favourable reviews from the critics.

Promoting Legitimate Gambling

The plot of The Mississippi Gambler centres on Power’s character, Mark Fallon, a New Yorker who has relocated to the Mississippi riverboats with the intention of running clean Poker games, in contrast to the many crooked card sharps working the river. He impresses an old gambler by the name of Kansas John Polly, and the two team up for a trip down the river. They meet the rich and dishonest F. Montague Caldwell, and after Mark exposes him as a cheat and demands a new pack of cards, he cleans up the table.

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Among the losers is Laurent, a young man whose sister, Angelique, Mark had met earlier and developed an interest in. Angelique is played by Piper Laurie. Laurent steals his sister’s diamond necklace to pay his debt to Mark, and when Mark tries to return it to Angelique, she proudly rebuffs him. Mark and Kansas John have to flee the boat when Caldwell and a group of henchman try to ambush them.

Hopeless Loves Lead to Duels                                                                   

The Mississippi Gambler capitalises on Power’s reputation as an action hero; when he’s not the suave gambler at the tables, he’s a two-fisted battler. After the fight on the riverboat, Mark arrives in New Orleans and rediscovers his passion for fencing, learnt from his father, who was a master fencer. At the fencing academy, he meets Angelique and Laurent’s father, an honourable old New Orleans grandee by the name of Edmond Dureau.

He and Mark strike up a friendship, despite his children’s antipathy to the gambler. Denying that she has any feelings for Mark, Angelique marries a banker. Mark opens a successful casino, but when he tries to help out Ann, the sister of an unlucky gambler who killed himself, Laurent happens to meet Ann and fall in love with her. She, of course, is in love with Mark, who is not interested in her because he is still pining for Angelique, so impetuous Laurent challenges Mark to a duel.

Disaster and Redemption

In a fit of panic, Laurent fires early in the duel, disgracing himself. Mark compounds his humiliation by refusing to shoot him. When someone else casts aspersions on Mark’s relationship with Ann in Edmond’s hearing, Edmond also initiates a duel, in which he is mortally wounded.

Mark promises that he will protect Angelique as Edmond lies on his deathbed. When Angelique’s banker husband absconds with the funds of several clients, including Mark’s casino, Angelique is left abandoned and Mark is again penniless. He returns to riverboat gambling, but this time, Angelique has decided where her heart lies, and goes with him.

The Grand

Fun Poker Action in The Grand

There are several features that make The Grand, directed by Zac Penn and released in 2007, stand out among movies set at the Poker table. For a start, The Grand is a comedy, not a gritty thriller. Secondly, it also has an impressive cast, including Woody Harrelson, Dennis Farina, Hank Azaria, Ray Romano, and legendary film director Werner Herzog.

The most unusual attribute of The Grand, however, is its improvised script. Penn and the actors worked on defining their characters, but all the dialogue in the film is improvised by the actors, as they play in a real poker tournament. This is The Grand, a Texas Hold’em Poker tournament held in Las Vegas. The action was filmed at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas strip.

Quirky Characters Hold Interest

The charm of The Grand lies in the larger-than-life characters it assembles. Harrelson plays an addict who has relapsed so often, he now lives in rehab permanently. He’s also a serial monogamist, with 75 failed marriages behind him, and he’s always ready for number 76. He needs to win the tournament for the $10-million prize, so that he can save the family casino he inherited and then ran disastrously.

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Farina plays a crusty old Vegas gambler, and Herzog is a cheat who practises ritual animal sacrifice to bring him luck at the cards. The rest of the players include a pair of bickering twins, a momma’s boy who also happens to be a genius, and a maths teacher. The cast also includes several professional Poker players, including Phil Laak, Phil Gordon and Daniel Negreanu.

Lukewarm Reception on Release                                                             

The Grand got mixed reviews from critics on its release, and the US box office was disappointing. The film made back less than $115,000, which is a commercial failure, considering the budget was $3-million. Nevertheless, many Poker fans do enjoy the movie, with many rating it much higher than Penn’s big-budget superhero films.

The improvised performances are key to the film’s appeal. The storylines may seem a bit basic, but the dialogue that the actors came up with in character keeps it tripping along at a decent pace. The actors are all funny people in real life, and the freedom to play around while making up their own lines inspired some great moments and very funny scenes.

Playful Comedy Well Worth a Look

“Playful” is probably the best word to describe The Grand overall. The actors all love Poker, and they seem to be having real fun improvising with each other. There are plenty of other Poker- and casino-themed movies for those who want thrills or intense dramas.

Running at just over 100 minutes, The Grand is for those looking for undemanding fun with a Poker theme. Getting to see some familiar stars let their hair down and make it up as they go along is an unexpected bonus. The film’s tagline, “A comedy about the fine art of losing”, may be very apt when referring to the Poker play, but no one in this cast is a loser in the acting stakes.

The Gambler 2014

The Gambler is a Solid Remake

The Gambler, directed by Rupert Wyatt and released in 2014, is a remake of the 1974 film of the same name, starring James Caan. This version stars Mark Wahlberg as the gambler of the title, and just like the original film, his compulsive illegal betting gets him into serious trouble. Producers Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff also produced the 1974 version.

Like Caan’s character, Mark Wahlberg’s Jim Bennet is a literature professor, although he is based in Los Angeles, not New York. While the original film focused on Dostoyevsky’s theories about the will to manifest a desire, the philosophy behind the 2014 film is well expressed in the tagline: the only way out is all in. It explores a similar theme, however: the self-destructive urges that drive a man who can only feel alive when he is risking everything.

Gambling into a Mountain of Debt

Wahlberg’s Jim is also a gambling addict, and even an inheritance from his wealthy grandfather doesn’t help; he gambles everything away and ends up in debt to the ruthless owner of an underground gambling operation. He also owes a loan shark; the crux of the matter is that he needs almost $300,000 in seven days, or he will be murdered.

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Like the gambler in the original movie, Jim tries several schemes to save himself. He tries borrowing from another loan shark, but pulls out when the guy humiliates him. He eventually bullies his mother, played by Jessica Lange, into giving him the money, but instead of paying his debts, he gambles it all away on a trip to a casino with one of his students, who has a crush on him.

Into a Downward Spiral                                                                                

Eventually, Jim is forced to bribe a college basketball star in one of his classes into throwing a game, so Jim can square his debts with the various mobsters threatening him. But his winnings from the fixed basketball game still don’t cover his debts, so the film climaxes in a Roulette showdown between Jim and a loan shark.

The original film ended with Caan getting into a brutal ghetto fight, trying to capture the rush he got gambling. The Gambler 2014 has a more upbeat ending, but the character arc Jim experiences is very similar to that in the original movie.

Legal Gambling is Much Safer

The Gambler is an entertaining film with a strong cast, containing some fairly obvious lessons on the folly of leaving a gambling addiction untreated. Like the 1974 film, however, the film also makes a subtle point about the difference between legal and illegal gambling.

Basically, in a legal casino or online gambling site, the player has recourse to the law if they are cheated. There are regulations in place to keep casinos honest. In the seamy underworld of illegal gambling, however, the player is on their own. If they end up spending more than they can afford, or the game is rigged, they face nasty physical consequences, without even getting the thrill of winning. As life lessons go, that’s pretty straightforward.

The Gambler

The Gambler; 70s Social Drama Still Relevant

The Gambler, produced by Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff for Paramount Pictures in 1974, is a typical example of the gritty realism in films of the time, exploring social issues that Hollywood had previously ignored or sugar-coated. It stars James Caan as Axel Freed, the gambler of the title, a Harvard-educated English professor at a New York college whose life spirals out of control as he succumbs to his gambling addiction.

Fans of 70s architecture, design and fashion will find a wealth of retro interest in the visuals, from Caan’s permed ’fro and chest-baring shirts to the blocky radios, cars and buildings. There is also a tendency to plaster clashing patterns across every available surface, including the cast. The score, by Jerry Fielding, is adapted from Mahler, and helps turn The Gambler into a drama that develops like a thriller. Fans of James Woods will enjoy seeing him in an early role as an officious bank clerk.

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Based on Real-Life Experience

The screenplay for The Gambler was written by James Toback, who in real life was a college English professor with a gambling addiction. Toback’s tale can be linked very loosely to a Dostoyevsky novella of the same name, as both stories explore the compulsive urge that drives gamblers, even when they have won big and should simply walk away from the game. Desire, and the will to attain a desire by that act of will, is at the heart of the philosophy both stories contemplate.

The Gambler was directed by Karel Reisz, who had made his name in cinema realism with Saturday Night And Sunday Morning in 1960. His most famous film is most probably The French Lieutenant’s Woman, starring Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons, released in 1981.

Plot a Sequence of Wasted Chances                                                       

The Gambler begins with Axel in his safe, comfortable life, lecturing English students on the ideas expounded by Dostoyevsky. But the love of his partner, Billie, played by Lauren Hutton, and of his successful doctor mother and rich grandfather, is soon contrasted with his other life. He’s in debt to the tune of $44,000 to a bookie, Hips, played by Paul Sorvino, after a run of disastrous sports bets.

If he doesn’t pay up, Hips’ muscle will start breaking his limbs. Alex borrows the money from his mother, but instead of paying Hips, he heads to Vegas where he wins a fortune. But he loses it all betting on sports again. When his grandfather turns down his plea for help, Axel is forced even further into the corrupt underbelly of illegal sports betting. He pays his debt, but ends up seeking violent confrontation. He has to bleed just to know he’s alive.

A Stark Look at Gaming Pitfalls

As a cautionary tale about the dangers of addiction, The Gambler received generally positive responses from critics and audiences. What is often overlooked, however, is the film’s subtext concerning legal and illegal gambling. In the Vegas segment, Axel is a winner, whether he’s playing craps, baccarat or blackjack. Of course, gambling is legal in Las Vegas.

All Axel’s problems with debt and threats of physical harm, on the other hand, are the result of his involvement in illegal sports betting, which necessitates him mingling with bookies, loan sharks and mobsters. It is this world that engineers his downfall. The film makes a very subtle point.