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Romanticizing Gambling in Movies

By showing the fun, positive sides, many movies will only show why gambling is a fun activity and as such promotes a very positive view on something that has been criticized recently.

Within mobile, gambling and betting apps are amongst the fastest growing in the market as the audience of players has changed over time - the demographic now consists of an older audience, one with disposable income which has been a driving reason behind the success. Recently there have been efforts to curb the surge in growth that these apps are seeing, but many of these sites are not blocked by gamstop have unrestricted use, but some in part think the rise in gambling could be attributed to the way modern movies romanticize gambling in some ways - by showing the fun, positive sides, many movies will only show why gambling is a fun activity and as such promotes a very positive view on something that has been criticized recently.

Romanticizing Gambling

By showing the fun, positive sides, many movies will only show why gambling is a fun activity and as such promotes a very positive view on something that has been criticized recently.

A big part of this can be seen in how often movies may gloss over some of the negative sides when addiction takes hold - this had been seen in the movie The Gambler, starring Mark Wahlberg. The movie focuses on a university teacher who falls in debt to a loan shark whilst gambling and shows how this relationship has an impact of other people in his life - from asking his mother to borrow money to fuel his habit, to people he knows being threatened if repayment wasn’t made - now of course this is an extreme example to tell the story within a movie, but as with others toward the end once the sheet was balanced it would go on to show that there had been very little consequence for the actions - this is a common theme amongst gambling movies as they show the negative effects of addiction follow by a lack of consequence once all is said and done.

You also have the other side of the coin - not necessarily gambling, but a ‘fun’ approach can be shown in heist movies such as the Oceans series - it removes focus from the act even if the majority of the scenes are shown to be within Vegas and big casinos, but it follows the same recipe as there may be an immediate negative, but always followed by a rewarding positive - this way of romanticising gambling has in part been held to account for an increase in the growth of mobile gambling as we see examples on a more common basis.

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It is always important to iterate the need to gamble responsibly - within the mobile market, casino and betting apps are expected to reach a value of over $165 million in 2020 alone, as the growth has been seen year on year for the past five or six years - during the coronavirus lockdown, there has been a surge in traffic to these games as brick and mortar locations remain closed and sporting events are cancelled, with social distancing measures set to last for a longer period of time we may see traditional casinos remain closed for run at reduced capacity for the foreseeable future and as such we may see the continued rise in mobile gaming.

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