Gambling is one of the oldest and most popular entertainment forms in the world. It’s perhaps no surprise then that casinos have become important entertainment hubs at the heart of society. While these century-old venues have changed over the ages, they’ve withstood the test of time and remained relevant to numerous generations, despite technological and cultural changes.
A mutable entertainment form
Ever since casinos were first invented in the 17th century, they have been associated with the upper classes and the bourgeoisie. Over the years, casinos have become synonymous with glamour, luxury, and stardom. Nonetheless, casinos are essentially an unparallel form of entertainment capable of adapting to any time and age.
For instance, nowadays, casinos have entered the digital space and become one of the leading online home entertainment forms around the world. Casinos and game providers have created new variations of classic games allowing users to access countless virtual rooms inspired by different themes and tropes. The increasing popularity of online casinos has even led to the creation of detailed guides that help players take advantage of promotions, and exclusive offers, and find gambling platforms that better suit their preferences. All this while reshaping what the gambling experience is and once again adding to casinos’ cultural significance. Nonetheless, this hasn’t always been the case.
Casinos over the ages
In the 20th century, with audiovisual entertainment formats on the rise, television and cinema gained the powerful ability to create icons and superstars, but also portray different activities in specific lights and granting them cultural meanings. Casinos were no different and the extensive use of these places as settings for some of the biggest movies in history led to the creation of a widespread notion of what casinos looked like and what they symbolised. All-time classics such as Casablanca or Dr No immortalised casinos and forged the link between casinos and glamour, mystery, action, suspense, and romance.
However, in the 2000s, and as casinos were at the peak of their popularity, the notions relating to these places were challenged. Pop hits such as Poker Face and Waking up in Vegas offered a more relaxed and less serious image of casinos when compared to classic gambling tunes, including Luck Be a Lady or Viva Las Vegas. Simultaneously, the Ocean’s and Hangover sagas helped associate casinos and humour, portraying these places as fun and not as tense and dramatic as previously conceived.
In the digital age and as the online world has become a powerful tool to reshape classic industries and the perceptions around them, it has been possible to further expand casinos and their cultural significance. In fact, online casinos have been able to incorporate all cultural aspects often associated with casinos, whether it be the seriousness, the drama, the glamour, or its purely entertaining nature.
Nonetheless, and as mentioned above, casinos and gambling are an ever-changing cultural symbol and so going forward, and with the help of technological advances, casinos will certainly once again be reshaped, their meaning expanded, and they will ultimately be perceived in a different light by future generations.