The tradition of gambling is one that is as old as man and is practiced in almost every part of the world, which is why we will be sharing some of the most interesting gambling documentaries. A gambling documentary doesn’t necessarily have to be negative, as some of them even portray gambling in a positive light, even though it is not encouraged. Generally, there is always a lesson to be learnt at the end of each of them.
Top 12 Gambling Documentaries
Here is a list of the most noteworthy gambling documentaries of all time:
1. Now Place Your Bets
IMDB Rating: N/A
Running time: 92 minutes
This gambling documentary primarily focuses on the history of sports betting and how it is innately related to the bubbling city of Las Vegas. “Now Place Your Bets” movie portrays how sports betting started small and evolved into the multibillion-dollar industry that we know today. The storyline of the movie is based on a number of interviews with major players in the betting industry.
2. Bet Raise Fold: The Story of Online Poker
IMDB Rating: 7.4/10
Running time: 100 minutes
Although Poker has been one of the most popular gambling and casino games, the invention of the internet took its popularity to a whole new level. The plot of the documentary focused on the growth of a new kind of player, one that evolved their poker game on the internet and their remarkable and regular everyday lives. The storyline also portrays how the US government eventually changed everything with an occurrence that is now known in the world of poker as “Black Friday.”
3. All In: The Poker Movie
IMDB Rating: 6.7/10
Running time: 100 minutes
This engrossing gambling documentary focuses on the multi-billion dollar poker industry during its early years. It portrays how the game of poker started in the underground nightclubs of NYC, and went on to be played on the internet, in casinos and eventually as a home game until it was affected by the US Government when they shut down the 3 biggest poker websites on earth.
4. The Player: Secrets of a Vegas Whale
Produced by Trish Regan, this documentary takes you on a rough ride with one of Las Vegas high-rollers on his track to winning millions of dollars at some of the most prominent casinos. Throughout this documentary, you’ll find out that the bubbling, high-life Las Vegas casino industry may not be so impossible to defeat.
The plot follows the main actor from his early days as a regular card player up until he becomes a multi-million-dollar whale that strives to win against the house every time he can.
IMDB Rating: N/A
Running time: 75 minutes
Smile is a documentary that tells the story of Thor Hansen, the two-time winner of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet. The plot portrays him as one of the finest players in the Norwegian poker scene. Unfortunately, his life changed tragically when he was diagnosed with a terminal illness that was supposed to take his life within a few months. However, Hansen went on to live for six more years after his cancer diagnosis. This documentary captures the final years of his life which eventually ended at his death in 2018. Smile is considered one of the best casino documentaries to ever be made.
6. Now Place Your Bets
While “Now Place Your Bets” is not the greatest gambling documentary on our list, it is still one of our highly recommended watches, particularly for poker fans. This extraordinary movie portrays the dramatic increase in the popularity of legal sports betting in Las Vegas. It also shows its growth and development into a multi-billion dollar industry globally.
7. The Real Hustle
IMDB Rating: 8.0/10
The Real Hustle is a gambling documentary series that aired from 2006-2012. The storyline talks about a squad of real-life confidence tricksters who execute notorious shams on gullible members of the public whilst some hidden cameras records all the action.
8. Life On the Line
IMDB Rating: 6.1/10
Running time: 52 minutes
Sports betting is a beloved form of recreation for many fans of sports, however for others, it’s far more than just a recreational activity– it’s how these people earn a living. The plot of “Life On the Line” documentary tells the story of the lives of some of the most dedicated sports bettors in the Las Vegas betting scene. It gives insights into their individual lives and how they handle gambling during one of the most important sports betting events, the Super Bowl.
9. 60 Minutes – Sports Betting: Billy Walters
IMDB Rating: N/A
Running time: 60 minutes
This iconic TV show, “60 Minutes” examines sports betting through the intense eyes of the legendary American philanthropist, entrepreneur, and ex-gambler, Billy Walters. Mr Walters goes into in-depth details about sports bettings and how to handle it.
10. Gambling Addiction & Me – The Real Hustler
IMDB Rating: 7.5
Running time: 57 minutes
If you are looking for a gambling addiction documentary, then you will likely be interested in “The Real Hustler” documentary. This remarkable documentary follows Alexis Conran as he trails on the path to discovering more about his dad’s gambling addiction and details of how he went to prison.
We consider this movie very enlightening and therefore a must-watch for anyone wishing to understand how addictive gambling can get and its impact on a family.
11. Out of Luck
IMDB Rating: 7.6
Out of Luck is one of the best-rated gambling documentaries that centre around the issue of casino gambling. The documentary was released in 2015 and instantly captured the hearts of the audience with harsh facts. Essentially, Out of Luck gives viewers a closer look at lotteries, the largest kind of gambling in the U.S.
Statistics indicate that the majority of lottery players are uneducated and poor and approximately 80% of earnings that lotteries in the US make come from only 15% of the poor players.
This popular casino documentary also shares the story of a store owner who went completely bankrupt because of his lottery addiction.
12 Frontline: The Fantasy Sports Gamble
IMDB Rating: 6.7
Running time: 53 minutes
The New York Times and PBS are the masterminds behind this masterpiece. This documentary is being critically praised as one of the most refined gambling documentaries in contemporary times. The Fantasy Sports Gamble documentary scrutinizes the unregulated world of gambling and Fantasy Sports betting and gambling. It gives insight into the world of gambling taxes, license fees and the gains made by organizations in what is technically categorized as an entertainment industry. Essentially, this documentary depicts what happens p behind the scene in the world of gambling.
Generally, a gambling documentary gives you insight into what happens behind the scenes in the gambling industry. Some others can also teach you how to maneuver and make it big as a pro gambler in Las Vegas. In all, our recommendation is for you to always apply caution during gambling, as it can be one of the easiest and quickest ways to lose big amounts of money.
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