Gambling is a pastime that’s loved by millions of people around the world. Whether it’s fast-paced action in a land-based casino or player-versus-player at the best online poker sites, this multi-billion-dollar industry is, today, more accessible than ever before. As you’d imagine, there are tons of gambling documentaries to choose from, and on this page, we’re going to be looking at some of the best ones to check out.
Top Gambling Documentaries
Finding the top gambling documentaries can be tough. Today, there’s more choice than ever before, and you’ll find documentaries covering virtually all aspects of gambling. However, we think that it’s fair to say that the best gambling documentaries tend to stand out from the crowd, which is what we’re going to be taking a look at on this page.
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Gambling Addiction and Me: The Real Hustler
Gambling Addiction and Me: The Real Hustler is one of the best-known gambling documentaries in the world, and it was released in 2012. The short film explores some of the reasons why gambling affects people in different ways, and it pays particularly close attention to what makes vulnerable people indulge in gambling activities in the first place.
Gambling Addiction and Me: The Real Hustler follows a man called Alexis Conran, a semi-professional poker player who’s been frequenting land-based casinos for years. However, Conran’s approach to gambling is generally seen as responsible, and is a lot unlike that of his father, who was a chronic gambling addict.
Conran’s father was sent to jail for committing fraud. To acquire new money to gamble with, his dad had started engaging in illegal activities. With his son being the polar opposite – being able to gamble responsibly and within budget – the movie explores the underlying factors that make people have such different attitudes and experiences relating to gambling.
Out of Luck
Out of Luck is one of the best documentaries about gambling, and it receives a 7.6/10 rating on IMDB. Released in 2015, the short film looks at the lotteries that are so widely played across the United States. It argues that it’s these lotteries that are actually the biggest “casinos”, deliberately marketed to the poor and vulnerable. It also dismantles the common misconception that lotteries only allow players to lose small amounts of money. Indeed, haunting footage shows that some people have lost everything to the lottery.
In addition to some heartbreaking backstories, Out of Luck also looks at the statistics surrounding American lotteries. Amazingly, 80 percent of all lottery profits are produced by just 15 percent of players, showing that it’s just a few who end up contributing the vast majority of money into the system.
While Out of Luck talks with numerous people, it centers around a personal story of a man who used to own a convenience store in the US. He ended up going bankrupt after spending more than a million dollars on lottery tickets.
Louis Theroux: Gambling In Las Vegas
Louis Theroux: Gambling in Las Vegas is a fascinating documentary that offers a unique insight into the world of gambling in Sin City. The film follows the British journalist and documentary maker as he explores the highs and lows of Las Vegas’ vibrant gambling culture.
Through interviews with professional gamblers, high rollers, and casino owners, Theroux delves into the psychology of gambling addiction and the impact it can have on individuals and their families. He also shines a light on the tactics used by casinos to keep customers coming back, including the use of loyalty schemes and free drinks.
In addition to its exploration of the gambling industry, Louis Theroux: Gambling in Las Vegas also provides a glimpse into the wider social and economic issues affecting the city, including homelessness and poverty. For example, one interview is conducted with Dr. Martha Ogman, a woman who lost over $4 million playing slot machines in just seven years. It’s a hard-hitting documentary and should be watched by all gamblers who want to be informed about the risks involved.
The Best of It
The Best of It is one of the more unique gambling documentaries we recommend you watch, and it follows the lives of four professional sports bettors: Boston, Dink, Banker, and The Shrink. Released in 2016, The Best of It does an amazing job of portraying gambling in a realistic way. It doesn’t glorify the lifestyle, instead choosing to share many of the challenges and pitfalls those involved with it face.
However, it does also provide an interesting perspective that most other documentaries about gambling seldom show. In addition to the negative elements of sports betting, it also shares various positive aspects, although it’s pretty clear to warn viewers that the four men involved in the documentary aren’t “everyday folks” and have utilized a combination of luck and years of practice to reach where they are today.
30 For 30: The Legend of Jimmy the Greek
30 For 30: The Legend of Jimmy the Greek is a gambling documentary that was released in 2009. 30 For 30: The Legend of Jimmy the Greek tells the story of a man called Jimmy Snyder, a well-known sports commentator in the US and a professional gambler. Snyder’s legacy in the sports betting world is undeniable, and he was one of the key figureheads in working towards the legalization of betting on NFL games.
30 For 30: The Legend of Jimmy the Greek explores not just Snyder’s life, but also the harsh realities of gambling. For example, it looks at the greed element involved, and how this greed often leads vulnerable punters into getting out of control and betting more than they can afford to lose.
If you’d like to learn about other gambling documentaries, check out the table below.
|DOCUMENTARY NAME||IMDB RATING|
|Bet Raise Fold: The Story of Online Poker||7.4/10|
|Life on the Line||6.1/10|
|Now Place Your Bets||N/A|
Frequently Asked Questions
The best gambling documentaries are readily available to watch online today and give you a nuanced and impartial look into the highs and lows of gambling. Some are very thought-provoking, with others showcasing the dark side of gambling. This blog post has shown you five of the best gambling documentaries that you can watch right now. Below, we’ll answer a few additional questions you may have.
Where to watch gambling documentary movies?
If you’re looking to watch documentaries about gambling then you’ll be pleased to learn there are lots of places to view them. Online streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime often feature some of the older releases, and even YouTube carries a couple of the older titles. Newer releases are generally network-specific, although they often make their way to streaming services a few years post-release.
Who stars in Gambling Addiction and Me: The Real Hustler?
Gambling Addiction and Me: The Real Hustler follows the life of a seasoned poker player called Alexis Conran. His life is an interesting story: while he’s always been able to gamble responsibly, his father was the polar opposite, developing a hugely damaging addiction that ended up landing him in prison.
What’s “Out of Luck” about?
Out of Luck is a gambling documentary about lotteries in the US. The film looks at how lotteries are causing major financial problems for many players, and it alleges that organizers of the lotteries deliberately target the poorest and most uneducated members of society. It’s a hard watch at times, but it’s incredibly well put together and is very thought-provoking throughout.
Who is Louis Theroux?
Louis Theroux is a British documentary filmmaker and journalist known for his unique and often humorous approach to exploring controversial and taboo subjects. He has made several acclaimed documentaries on topics such as religion, crime, and addiction, and he’s also worked on some gambling-related documentaries, the most notable of which is Gambling in Vegas.
Which sports bettors does The Best of It follow?
The Best of It is a hard-hitting documentary film that follows the life of four sports bettors as they reveal the highs and lows of the industry. They’re called Boston, Dink, Banker, and The Shrink, and while they’ve made a lot of money throughout their careers, they’ve also lost a lot – and have had to overcome a large number of challenges.