The Top 5 Vegas Casino Documentaries
Las Vegas is the sort of city that we all dream of visiting at some point. Whether you are an experienced casino player or have never set foot in a casino in your life, there is something magical about this city in the Nevada that is considered as the planet’s premier gambling destination.
Yet, this is a hugely complex city with many different sides. It could be the place where your dreams of winning a fortune comes true but there is a lot more to this mysterious and alluring city than first meets the eye.
This is why documentary makers are so fascinated by Las Vegas. Over the years many film and TV crews have come here to try and unravel the secrets of The Gambling Capital of the World.
Breaking Vegas – History Channel
This fantastic series from the History Channel is definitely one of the top 5 Vegas casino documentaries. It is now available on YouTube to watch at any time but was originally shown back in 2004 in the US.
The idea behind this documentary is that it follows different people who have made money from casinos in Las Vegas. Not all of them won legally though, and the camera follows a number of gamblers who have cheated their way to wins in the city’s gambling spots.
However, it also shows legal strategies that gamblers can use to increase their chances of winning on the roulette wheel or at a card table. These include using the latest computer technologies, as well as the old-fashioned tactics that some gamblers still rely upon.
Overall, it is a fascinating look at the lengths that people go to in order to try and walk away from a casino with more money than they entered with.
Night street view of las vegas strip” (CC BY 2.0) by Tim Pearce, Los Gatos
Louis Theroux: Gambling in Las Vegas
Documentary specialist Louis Theroux travelled to Sin City to give us this look at what makes Las Vegas tick. It was first shown on the BBC in 2007 and can now be seen on YouTube.
Theroux meets a range of intriguing characters who have made playing in Las Vegas casinos a big part of their lives. They include a retired doctor who claims to have gambled her way through an astonishing $4 million in just 7 years.
Louis also speaks to some high-rollers who wager huge sums of money, as he tries to work out why so many people are drawn to this place year after year. The presenter provides some wonderful insights into what goes on at Las Vegas and why it remains so wildly popular.
Gambling in Las Vegas was released to critical acclaim and is well worth taking a look at.
The Player: Secrets of a Vegas Whale
This 2014 effort is one of the top 5 Vegas casino documentaries, showing a controversial attempt to beat the system. Trish Regan presents the documentary and introduces us to a Las Vegas high roller who plans to show that it is possible to beat the casinos.
The star of the show is a man called Don Johnson, who transforms his luck by getting trained by mathematicians to give him a better chance of winning. The action was filmed shortly after the 2008 financial crisis. Casinos in the US were desperate to bring in players, so they agreed to a series of rule changes that effectively allowed Johnson to clean up.
This documentary shows how he picked up $15 million in a number of different casinos, having a hugely damaging effect on the finances of the casinos that he played in. It is a terrific documentary that should act as inspiration to everyone who is still dreaming of hitting the lucky streak that changes their life.
Las Vegas: An Unconventional History
This documentary is part of the PBS American Experience series and it gives us an informative, well-researched look into the past and the present of Las Vegas. It was originally aired in 2005 and is now available on both DVD and YouTube.
The film is the work of writer Michelle Ferrari and film-maker Stephen Ives. They take us through a varied array of people whose lives are closely linked with the city, while also showing us how Las Vegas developed and how it rose from a humble beginning to become the global mecca for gambling.
Ten different Las Vegas residents are featured in Las Vegas: An Unconventional History, ranging from gamblers to hotel workers and from teachers and strip club workers. It is an educational look at the city that lets us understand it that bit better than we did before.
The Real Las Vegas
Written by Jim Milio and narrated by Richard Crenna, The Real Las Vegas is regarded by many people as one of the top 5 Vegas casino documentaries for a number of reasons. For a start, it gives some celebrities the chance to talk about their past experiences in Sin City.
This film is particularly strong on the boom period of the 50s and 60s, which are described in gloriously rich detail. The impact of Las Vegas on the lives of people such as Muhammad Ali and Howard Hughes is discussed, giving it more of a personal feel than is found in many other documentaries of this type.
The Real Las Vegas is from 2001 and runs over a 2 disc DVD set. It may be a few years old now but it remains a powerful and interesting look at a city there never loses its sense of mystery.
There are plenty of entertaining documentaries around that show us the different sides of Las Vegas. Whether you plan on travelling here to gamble some money or not, it is definitely worth checking out a few of these documentaries to discover more about a city that looks sure to keep on fascinating people long into the future.
If you get started with any of these top 5 Vegas casino documentaries then you will find out a lot of interesting facts that may whet your appetite for playing a few casino games online too.
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