If the films about casinos have taught us anything, it's that they and their surroundings provide a place where you can slip off to and get lost for a while, in whatever mischief, mayhem or simple fun-loving you fancy. No film better portrays this than 2009’s
The Hangover, where a bunch of dudes descend for a stag-weekend on Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, prepared for one last big one before one of their group walks up the aisle. While in real life you might struggle, as they do in the film, to spend about a half-hour studying a book on card-counting and then go down to the casino to take the blackjack table for everything it’s worth, you can definitely have a lot of fun in Las Vegas, as both the film and anecdotal evidence would testify.

Cheating, in general, has produced much of the body of many casino-based films, and also their biggest diversion from reality – 3000 Miles to Graceland’s machine gun-wielding Elvis impersonators notwithstanding. Though films like 21 and Ocean’s Eleven would imply that casinos are ripe for the picking, if only you master the hand signals and/or door codes, the reality is very different. Every angle of everything is watched on a casino floor – you couldn’t pick a worse place to try to do something sly. However, unlike in 1995’s Casino, set in the days when the Mafia still ruled Las Vegas with an iron fist, should you decide to break the law, you can probably trust that at least you won’t get your hand set upon with a hammer. Better to stay at home and play on an online casino? Possibly. However, one thing that all casino films have, from Croupier to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, that hold true in the real life version too – there are a lot of slot machines.