Filled with drama and suspense, casinos make the perfect setting for an exciting film. Over the years, many filmmakers have explored the different games on offer, creating captivating capers where anything is possible. Whether it’s playing blackjack, no-limit poker or jackpot slots, casinos are a great place for characters to explore. At PlayOJO, we love casino movies so much that we’ve created a list of the very best.


No list of the best gambling films would be complete without the 1995 Martin Scorsese epic. Featuring inspired performances from Robert de Niro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone, it follows the story of a friendship between a casino executive and mafia enforcer. The film shows off the high stakes of the casino business while sprinkling in lots of drama and action to make the nearly three-hour runtime worth it. While it might not be as famous as Goodfellas, Casino is Scorsese at his very best.  

The Hangover

One of the biggest comedy films of all time, The Hangover received huge acclaim from audiences and critics when it was released in 2009. It tells the story of three friends who wake up following an extremely chaotic Las Vegas bachelor party, only they can’t remember what happened and the groom is missing. Slowly, they work their way around the city, retracing their steps and putting together their hazy memories of the previous night.

Oceans Eleven

Oceans Eleven features a truly star-studded cast with George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon and many more. Renowned conman Danny Ocean is attempting to pull off the biggest heist in history, hitting the three biggest casinos in Las Vegas all at the same time. He puts together a crack team to get the job done, but his motivations for the con are about more than just money. This fun-filled crime caper is truly a classic and inspired a wave of heist films.

Ocean’s Twelve

In Oceans Twelve, Danny and his crew return for another big score, this time trying to get back all the money they stole in the original film or else being thrown in jail. The team travels to Europe, getting into plenty of hijinks as they plan an elaborate series of heists, crosses and double-crosses. Like all the best casino films, there’s lots of action, even if gambling doesn’t play a central role.

Ocean’s Thirteen

In their third and final caper, the crew are back after a double-cross by the hilariously-named casino boss Willy Bank. Willy is played by none other than Al Pacino, and of course, all the original cast members also make their return. This time, it’s personal as they team up with an old rival to put the damper on the opening of Bank’s new casino.


Following the story of a group of MIT students who perfect card-counting techniques and take on Las Vegas casinos, this is actually based on real events. Of course, being Hollywood, you can expect that this is the heavily dramatised version. Still, it’s one of the best films about gambling and features some big names along with lots of great action and plenty of drama. While the students’ strategy works well at first, it isn’t long before they attract the attention of the casino enforcers.   

The Sting

Paul Newman and Robert Redford star in this 1973 classic about two conmen teaming up to pull off the biggest con of their careers. It was a hugely successful film in its day, both critically and commercially, winning an incredible seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Film Editing and Best Original Screenplay. While it might be a bit older than most of the other films on this list, it still stands the test of time.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

A wacky writer and his lawyer friend take a road trip to Las Vegas in this adaptation of Hunter S Thompson’s work. Johnny Depp brilliantly plays the role of the writer as he explores the lights of Vegas while under the influence while Benicio Del Toro stars alongside him. The film flopped pretty hard on release but has become a cult classic that takes a closer look at American popular culture and counterculture at the time.

Leaving Las Vegas

In one of Nicholas Cage’s best films, the enigmatic actor stars as a former Hollywood screenwriter and alcoholic who comes to Las Vegas to live out his last days and drink himself to death after ruining his career. As you can imagine, it starts out pretty bleak, but when he meets someone new, he starts to see life in a new light. The film might not feature a lot of gambling, but it’s a great watch and has won plenty of critical acclaim since it was released in 1995.


Swingers tells the story of a failing actor who’s struggling to move on from a breakup. His friends decide to intervene. Sure, casinos might not be a central part of the plot, but there are multiple scenes shot inside several big casinos as the characters party in Las Vegas. Featuring Vince Vaughn and Heather Graham, it’s a fun watch if you enjoy light-hearted comedies.

Hard Eight

This American crime story follows the fortunes of professional gambler Sydney, who takes in a new apprentice and teaches him all the tricks of the trade. For a while, things go well, but disaster looms on the horizon as their luck runs out. The title is a reference to the dice game craps, which is particularly popular in American casinos.


An underrated film from Guy Ritchie, expect plenty of gangsters, action and fights as Jason Statham stars alongside Ray Liotta. The plot centres around an illegal casino ring and the work of a conman who has the formula to win at any game. While it didn’t reach the level of acclaim that some of Ritchie’s other films achieved, it’s an interesting watch. It makes links between casinos, Buddhist philosophy, Kabbalah and numerology.  

The Cooler

In gambling, a cooler is a player, casino worker or hand that brings bad luck. This 2003 crime drama focuses on the story of one such man whose bad luck is legendary. He’s a former gambling addict who’s paying off his debt by working as a cooler for a casino. His curse eventually breaks when he falls in love. Of course, gambling can be addictive, which is why it’s important to follow responsible gaming practices.  


Croupiers play an important role in movies about gambling, and in this 1998 British film, a croupier is the main character. The film features Clive Owen playing Jack, an aspiring writer who becomes a croupier. Jack realises his time working in the casino could make an excellent novel but gets drawn into a world of crime and drama as his life gets more complicated.

Casino Jack

Casino Jack is one of the best biographical gambling movies, telling the true story of crime and corruption at the heart of Washington, D.C. Starring Kevin Spacey, the film focuses on the career of lobbyist and businessman Jack Abramoff, who was convicted of fraud, conspiracy and tax evasion. Spacey is at his very best when playing these types of characters, and while the account is heavily fictionalised, it’s a great watch.

The Good Thief

In The Good Thief, a down-on-his-luck retired thief attempts to complete one last heist. This crime thriller is a remake of an excellent French film, but if you’re not a fan of reading subtitles, then this one is for you. It’s still shot on location in Nice and Monaco, capturing the glitz and glamour of the French Riveria.

Owning Mahowny

Another of the best casino movies based on a true story. This one features the life and times of Brian Molony, a Toronto bank employee who embezzled more than $10 million to feed his gambling addiction. Featuring the late Seymour Hoffman, the film is a must-watch for anyone who wants to learn about the potential dangers of getting carried away with gambling.

California Split

This 1974 film is a true classic for anyone who loves gambling. It’s a comedy-drama, and despite its age, California Split has still got plenty of great jokes that will make you laugh. The plot sees two gamblers becoming friends, with the more experienced one dragging the other into a world of big stakes.

The Gambler (1997)

There have been many big-screen adaptations of The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, but this remains one of the best. Starring Michael Gambon, the plot shows how Dostoyevsky must write a novel in just twenty-seven days in order to pay off his gambling debts.

Rain Man

The charming comedy-drama came out in 1988 but is still a classic. If you’ve never seen it before, it’s well worth the watch, showing an uplifting story of how a selfish and stuck-up wheeler-dealer eventually comes to love and respect his autistic-savant brother. Of course, his brother’s ability to count cards in the casino certainly helps. Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman star, and while the casino action is relatively short, it’s a lot of fun.

The House (2017)

In The House, expect plenty of laughs and lots of casino thrills as the main character, played by Will Ferrel, and his wife are convinced by their neighbour to open an illegal casino in their home. The goal is to help pay for their daughter’s college tuition, but predictably, things go awry when the local mob boss gets involved.

The Gambler (2014)

Another film inspired by the work of Dostoevsky, this is a more recent release and features Mark Wahlberg as a literature professor who loves to gamble a little too much. Once again, the film shows the dangers of excess and what can happen if you borrow money to feed your gambling habit. As he struggles to pay off his gambling debt, Wahlberg’s character becomes embroiled in a seemingly never-ending spiral of drama.


Bugsy Siegel was a real-life mobster and one of the most important people behind the creation of the Las Vegas Strip. This 1991 crime drama tells his story, showing the dark side of the American casino business as Bugsy builds his money-making empire. It won multiple awards, including Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director, and it’s an excellent look at the seedy beginnings of Las Vegas.

Win it All

This 2017 comedy film was created for Netflix and explores the impact gambling addiction can have. The film’s main character, Eddie Garret, is working as a parking attendant when he happens to come into possession of a bag full of cash belonging to a local criminal. As a gambling addict, he almost immediately starts gambling with it, starting a spiral of issues that will soon catch up to him.

Atlantic City

Atlantic City may not be Vegas, but it’s just as well known for its gambling and casinos. This 1980 movie is a crime drama set in America’s Playground and was nominated for five major Academy Awards. If you love the 80s style and a bit of romance, then this film is definitely worth the watch. It was even added to the United States National Film Registry of the Library of Congress due to it being deemed culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

Wes Andersen makes some incredibly unique films with an unmistakable visual style. While the Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is only 40 minutes long, it’s a great watch the whole way through and mixes visual comedy with wonderful storytelling. Based on the short story by Road Dahl, this film came out in 2023 and features stars such as Benedict Cumberbatch and Ben Kingsley. The titular character, a wealthy man from London, learns a new technique to cheat at cards.


The next time you’re planning to spend some time at your favourite online casino, why not check out some of the best casino films to make a night of it. There are loads of great casino films to enjoy, take your pick from our list of best gambling movies and sign up to experience exciting casino action anywhere you like.

Tom Edlin

Thomas Edlin

Tom Edlin is a professional writer and gaming enthusiast who loves playing the latest slots. When he’s not spinning the reels and enjoying the excitement of online casino games, he also enjoys running, following the ups and downs of his football team and spending time with his family.