Are Casinos Still Just For the Rich and Famous?


Rewind back to 20 years ago, and the world of casinos was one inhabited primarily by those living a glamorous lifestyle who wanted to see, to be seen, and to enjoy the life of luxury alongside those in the same league as them financially. Indeed, the recent Star Wars instalment, Star Wars: The Last Jedi – which ended up being the highest grossing movie of 2017 – managed to showcase this somewhat elitist casino image by indulging fans in scenes from a planet where only the very richest could enjoy time playing a range of casino games in what looked like an incredibly exclusive environment.

Perhaps, though, the simple fact that recent mainstream films like Logan, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and countless others have featured the world of gambling and casinos so prominently actually highlights a different point: casinos are no longer perceived to be places of mystery and exclusivity, and are now understood and enjoyed by the Average Joe around the world.

Part of this wholesale change hasn’t even come about in physical casinos and a change in habit there; as much progress has been made to change the world of casino’s image by the casino games people are accessing at home on their PC and on their mobile devices, where they can bring vivid worlds to life through the use of familiar characters such as Batman and Pacman. Clearly, if online casino is anything, it isn’t elitist.

James Bond and Ben Affleck: Inspiration from The World of Celebrities

How have casinos been pushed so firmly into the mainstream realm though? Well, as with over the top social media over-sharing, celebrities have an awful lot to do with it! It is without doubt that the Casino Royale film helped to push the James Bond franchise back to the top of the tree in the movie world, rekindling mainstream interest in casinos in the process. Casino Royale not only achieved success in terms of transforming the James Bond character to one oozing coolness, but it also portrayed, in a unique manner, the excitement and thrill of competition that games like poker can create.

While it might be perceived as ironic that a man famed for being the embodiment of a member of the upper classes helped to bring the gambling thrill to the masses, it is undeniable that movie stars (or characters in the case of James Bond) can help to truly create excitement and widespread interest in the world of casino that extends beyond the narrower world of gambling.

The trend doesn’t end with James Bond either. Indeed, while Ben Affleck is a fairly divisive character when it comes to his acting skills, he is certainly seen as a legend when it comes to some of the achievements he has enjoyed at casinos, as explained in an article by 888casino, and the fact he managed to prove himself an expert at blackjack, winning a great deal of money in the process. His success has been inspirational for some, not just his hardcore fans; even One Direction have found the lure of the casino hard to resist. The young lads had dreams of living it up in Las Vegas once they hit the big time, only to find out that they were too young to do so! Their failure (if you can call it that) still managed to raise public awareness of the thrill of the gamble with a key demographic for the gambling industry.

“Ben Affleck” by Elen Nivrae (CC BY 2.0)

Don’t let the One Direction story fool you; this is no modern phenomenon. In fact, the concept of casinos and their link to celebrities goes all the way back to names like Frank Sinatra, who once owned a casino at Lake Tahoe and whose name is still very much connected to the glitz and glamor of the casino world.

Virtual Reality: A World Made Easier to Enjoy

There’s more to it than the celeb factor though. While in the past, this celebrity influence alone might have made people spend their hard-earned cash on trips to Las Vegas, Macau, Monte Carlo or even Atlantic City, the world has changed so much that the ability to emulate the experiences of celebrities is now available at home or even on the go, via smartphone. Online casinos have not only helped to bring gambling to a wider audience, but have also helped those who were unfamiliar with the rules and nuances of the games to understand them thoroughly, so that if they want to go and experience the casino life, they can do so without feeling like they are jumping in at the (very!) deep end.

“Macau City Panarama” by Andrew Moore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Furthermore, advances in technology have made it even easier to enjoy the real thing at home, making it far more democratic and far more accessible for all. The potential that virtual reality technology has to transport the physical casino to gamers’ own homes is breaking down even more barriers all the time, as is the potential of augmented reality, which has already had its own successes in the gaming world. This ability to recreate the casino world at home has also helped to increase interest in casinos and gambling from the perspective of a younger audience, helping to move away from the stuffy image that some casinos had previously managed to create.

Vegas: Still on the Bucket List?

All of this said, casinos clearly still hold an allure and will remain trendy and appealing in public consciousness for many years to come. Ask your average 25-year old, and it seems likely that the idea of a penthouse suite in Las Vegas still very much makes up part of their bucket list. What has changed, though, is the fact that casinos and the world of gambling are no longer seen as exclusive to the rich and famous. This is now an achievable dream, and an accessible environment, for everyone. Celebrities clearly play their part in promoting these destinations, but it is likely that online casinos enhancing people’s understanding of individual games has had far more of a serious impact on the democratization of the casino world.