This is something of a golden age for documentary filmmaking, with a dizzying array of subject matters now being explored in entertaining and insightful factual films.
One of these subjects is gambling and there are in-depth documentaries about it available to watch now that any keen casino or sports gambler will find fascinating. These are a few that are well worth taking the time to view.
Life On The Line
Betting on sports is more popular than ever in the digital age – as can be seen from the number of new bookmakers that are now springing up online. So it is not really surprising that the world of sports betting is also proving fertile ground for documentary makers and this 2013 film is a great example.
Many top names from the sports betting scene feature in Life on the Line, including pro gamblers Erin Rynning and Teddy Covers. The subject of the film is the high stakes professional betting that goes on around the Super Bowl and it offers an exclusive inside look at a world that is usually closed off to the public.
Bet, Raise, Fold: The Story of Online Poker
This documentary from 2013 takes a look at the history of online casino – particularly poker – in the United States. It primarily focuses on decisions made by the government in the US to clamp down on internet gambling sites and the money people have lost as a result – which it estimates at over $500 million.
It is structured around interviews with Martin Bradstreet, Tony Dunst and Danielle Andersen, all of whom suffered heavy financial consequences from this and uses their contributions to delve into the troubled history the United States has with online gambling, making it compelling viewing even for non gamblers.
Breaking Vegas: The True Story of the MIT Blackjack Team
Who doesn’t love watching people taking on the big Vegas casinos and win – after all it has been the subject of hit fictional movies like Ocean’s Eleven. That is what Breaking Vegas is about, as this 2004 documentary tells the fascinating tale of a group of highly intelligent nerds from MIT.
They use their unique skills to develop a new method of counting cards, before hitting Las Vegas to get rich. As the film points out, the Vegas casinos monitor card counting through surveillance cameras and guards, but the MIT team had a system that was brand new and went undetected for some time. Revealing details of their mysterious leader, known only as Mr M, this is easily one of the coolest documentaries about gambling that you can watch.
These are just three of the brilliant documentaries that examine various aspects of the gambling world and that are available to stream on sites such as Netflix.
Whether you want something that will inspire you to up your game next time you gamble, or a dark look at the downsides of this activity, there is a film for you.