Pop culture worlds feature some memorable casinos that would rival any of the iconic gambling establishments you’d find on the Las Vegas strip. We’d love to try our luck alongside some of our favorite pop culture characters at the following casinos.
Mr. Burns’ Casino (The Simpsons)
As the only casino in Springfield, Mr. Burns’ Casino on “The Simpsons” was always destined for success. However, none of us imagined Marge Simpson would become one of its most frequent guests. The profits rolled in, although it would have made more without Homer manning the blackjack tables! The casino was a celebration of all things Burns, from its less-than-imaginative moniker to its disturbing logo, which saw Mr. Burns reimagined as a merman!
Just like the best real-world casinos, the entertainment was top-notch, with productions like The Flamboyant Magic of Gunter and Ernst and Krusty’s Midnight Show. Although things went awry when Robert Goulet got lost and ended up at Bart Simpson’s treehouse instead.
Rick’s Café Americain (Casablanca)
The Vichy French and German officers might have been on opposing sides during World War II, but they could all come together at Rick’s Café Americain, the upscale nightclub and casino helmed by Humphrey Bogart’s Rick Blaine in “Casablanca.” There they’d play table games like craps and roulette alongside refugees en route to the neutral United States of America and the men trying to take them in. Rick’s neutral stance and the talents of his trusty piano player Sam made his Moroccan casino one of the area’s coolest hangouts.
The Bellagio (Ocean’s Eleven)
In the original “Ocean’s Eleven” movie, the crims hit up five casinos in one night. However, in Steven Soderbergh’s 2001 remake, George Clooney’s Danny Ocean has eyes for just one: The Bellagio. Unlike the other casinos mentioned, this venue isn’t the stuff of fiction. The movie was filmed around the famous South Las Vegas Boulevard establishment, one of the world’s most extravagant casinos. Its iconic dancing water fountains even take a starring role in the film’s poignant closing scene. Bellagio’s president Randy Morton credits this cinematic moment with making his casino’s fountains one of the country’s top tourist attractions.
Lolly’s Casino (Boardwalk Empire)
Running a casino during the Prohibition Era wasn’t easy, but Lolly Steinman made it happen in HBO’s “Broadway Empire.” Perhaps it was the roulette and craps tables, perhaps it was the steady stream of bootleg hooch supplied by the corrupt Atlantic County treasurer Nucky Thompson, but either way Lolly’s Casino was one of Atlantic City’s most exciting nightspots. Nucky also provided the protection Lolly needed to keep his illegal establishment afloat.
Hotel Splendid (Casino Royale)
The glitz and glamor of a high-end casino was always bound to appeal to the debonair James Bond. So how could he resist facing terrorist financier Le Chiffre in a high stakes Texas Hold ‘Em poker game at Hotel Splendid? While the fictional casino from “Casino Royale” was meant to be in Montenegro, Daniel Craig and his cast mates never set foot in the country. Instead Martin Campbell shot his 2006 action flick in a small town in the Czech Republic. That didn’t stop a massive spike in tourists looking for the famous fictional casino.
It’s also worth noting that Hotel Splendid didn’t feature in Ian Fleming’s original novel either. Instead the famous showdown took places at Royale-les-Eaux Casino, a fictional casino in Northern France he based on the Casino de Monte Carlo. They didn’t play poker either; the literary James Bond preferred the baccarat-style game chemin de fer.
Whether based on real establishments or total works of fiction, some of our favorite characters couldn’t resist the lure of these memorable pop culture casinos. Could you?