Home Entertainment Do You Know the Casinos That Have Starred in the Movies?

Do You Know the Casinos That Have Starred in the Movies?

5 min read

Why do we always feel excited about playing in a casino? Even if we are playing at an online casino!

It’s because there’s a mysterious glamour attached to any casino. The venue has a unique atmosphere – it’s a special feeling that only the gaming room can give you.

This feeling is such a strong and enduring part of a casino’s image that, incredibly, the glamour has transferred across to online casinos too. 

Notice how these digital creations don’t call themselves gaming arcades or iGaming websites. They know that the word ‘casino’ has a lot more appeal.

That’s because the simple word casino still exudes excitement. A casino is a place where we can all enjoy the thrills of playing – and where some clients get to experience massive highs and lows. 

Perhaps the aura of it being something special dates back to the days when a casino was a rare venue where the gentlemen and gentlewomen of the day could relax. Or perhaps it’s all influenced by the feeling of being slightly on the edge of polite society – in a place that some would rather not talk about.

There is a story that when Queen Victoria visited Monaco she turned her head as she passed the famous casino. She didn’t even want to look at it.

Perhaps though the lure of casinos is fuelled by the starring role that they have played in some of the top films of all time. 

Here are some of the best casinos that have featured in movie scenes. How many of these have you seen – and how many can you recognise?

The Mirage, Las Vegas

This giant iconic MGM Resort Casino in the casino capital of Las Vegas, USA, has featured in many movie blockbusters. Matt Damon and his friends played poker there in the film Rounders. 

The lavish bachelor party scene in The Wolf of Wall Street was shot in The Mirage too. Look out for the 3,000-room casino hotel in Chevy Chase’s riotous comedy Vegas Vacation. 

And the Mirage has also featured prominently in the game Grand Theft Auto.

The Macau Palace, Macau

The growing gaming resort in the Far East was the location for one of the most popular of James Bond’s films, The Man With The Golden Gun, before it was well known – back in 1974. 

The gaming scenes with 007 were shot on the spectacular floating casino, the Macau Palace. This was moored in the island’s Outer Harbour. The two-storey casino was actually a converted barge with classic gaming tables installed throughout.

The Palace has since sadly closed down. Perhaps that’s why the Bond film Skyfall featured many scenes supposedly in a venue named The Golden Dragon Casino in Macau. Unfortunately there is no such casino in real life – it was all shot at Pinewood Studios in the UK.

Monte Carlo Casino, Monaco

One of the best-known and oldest casinos in the world perches on the cliffs above Monaco’s glamorous harbour. This grand building owned by the Monaco Royal family has been the location for many movies over the years.

Some of Monte Carlo’s most prominent film locations have been the James Bond film Goldeneye (1995) and Ocean’s 12 (2004). 

The full list is long though and includes feature films like Never Say Never Again (1983), Monte Carlo (2011), The Red Shoes (1948), Once Upon a Crime (1992), Bay of Angels (1963) and Rebecca (1979).

Monte Carlo is such an iconic name it is always likely to be a possible location for any glamorous gaming films.

The Bellagio, Las Vegas

With its famous fountains and light show, the Bellagio is one of the most famous casinos in the world. The las Vegas landmark is also a big favourite for the moviemakers.

Two of the major Ocean movies (11 and 13) starring Brad Pitt were shot at the Bellagio. Both were centered on action within the casino.

It has also been the location for the popular Hangover series of films and the comedy movie Focus (2015) that starred Will Smith.

Casino Lisboa, Macau

Rowan Atkinson’s bumbling secret agent appears both inside and outside this casino in the film Johnny English reborn (2011). The casino stands alongside Macau’s landmark hotel, the Grand Lisboa, the tallest building in the city.

The casino also featured heavily in the Marvel film Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021 – see Marvel).

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

One of the city’s most iconic buildings, the famous Roman-styled casino has been the location for an amazing 50 movies. They include Rocky, Iron Man and Godzilla (see IMDB).

Two of the Hangover series featured Caesars palace, including another wild bachelor party scene. Look out for the casino in the film 21.

The newer subsidiary casino Planet Hollywood featured heavily in the blackjack drama 21 too.

Many films have features casino scenes of course, from Goodfellas to The Color of Money, from The Sting to Rain Man. The vast majority of these have been shot in film studios though – because the disruption caused by filming would be too great for any real-life casino.

But every time a casino appears on the big or small screen it adds another layer to the glamour of the word. A casino may simply be a place to enjoy some of the world’s most popular games – but in the hearts of most players it means a whole lot more.

Check out our poker movies article for movies to watch now!

Last Updated: October 24, 2022

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