For many casino enthusiasts, a well-deserved break usually involves planning to trip to Vegas or Macau. However, thanks to the current state of the economy and various other factors, overseas trips are becoming something of a distant dream. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t escape from reality for a while.
In fact, all you need is a television or laptop and a television series to binge-watch and a fully stocked fridge and you are good to go. For anyone who has ever partaken in such a ritual, the key is to find a series that really grabs you and draws you into a world outside your own. With that in mind, we have created a list of the best gambling and casino based television shows of all time.
Topping our list is the sexy, fast-paced show called Las Vegas (2003-2008). If you have ever wanted to go behind the scenes of a casino in Sin City, this is the show to watch. Las Vegas follows the trials and tribulations of an elite surveillance team charged with maintaining the security of one of Vegas’s biggest casino resorts, the Montecito Resort and Casino. Headed up by James Cann (The Godfather), the various members of the surveillance team deal with everything from card-counting cheaters to unbelievable streaks of random luck at the Roulette and gaming tables. Throw into the mix rival casinos trying to steal their high rollers and a few love triangles and you have the perfect casino based drama. Las Vegas does a great job of creating realistic Vegas dilemmas with a few crazy ideas thrown in for good measure.
Deadwood (2004-2006) is cult series that is doesn’t really fit the mould of a casino series but is really all about gambling. Deadwood is a western set in the 1800’s. While there are a variety of themes running continuously throughout the program, the show revolves around a rundown bar and brothel as well as an upscale gambling house. Featuring characters such as Calamity Jane, Wild Bill Hickok, and Wyatt Earp, the show brings viewers into the mindset of gamblers and outlaws. It is a wild ride and one that will have casino enthusiasts on the edge of their seat.
If you ever wanted to go inside the mind of a compulsive gambler, you may want to check out the TV show Big Deal (1984-1986). This classic British comedy/drama focuses on the life of Robby Box (Ray Brooks), a hard-to-do gambler who is constantly on the lookout for his next big win. While he may not have been able to get as many big games as he wanted, Robby is constantly winning and then losing various amounts of cash and estates. To make matters more complicated, Robby has a girlfriend and daughter to support who are always trying to get him to get his life together. For Robby, just one more big win will do the trick.
Give Us a Break
Sticking with the classics, one of the best gambling TV shows of all time has to be Give Us A Break (1983-1984). This BBC drama centred around the life of a professional gambler who gets involved with a budding snooker protégé. Starring Paul McGann and Robert Lindsey, Give Us a Break was a revolutionary show that showed how professional gamblers will take big risks for the chance to pull in some serious money. Having spotted a great opportunity with the young snooker player, Robert Linsey takes him under his wing, priming him for a life of gambling. While the show only lasted 8 episodes, it certainly made a big impact and paved the way for loads more gambling shows to come through. Although the snooker theme is an untapped market at this point.