Canadian Movies About Gambling

Laymen may wonder – what are the criteria that allow a country to claim a motion picture production? How does a movie become Canadian?

The essence of it all is in who’s producing? Where is the money coming from? Many nations, Canada included, have tax policies for movie-making, access to special grants, and so on. And for a production to gain access to all these things it has to fulfill certain conditions. A specific percentage of the cast and crew have to be Canadian and a large portion of the film has to be shot in Canada. Thus, producing Canadian employment for Canadian people.

Since we cleared that up, let’s get to the gambling part. We all know what it is, and that it’s mostly done at casinos. However, in the past twenty years, the tide has shifted and casinos have moved online, like most things. 

Today, digital gambling platforms are all the rage. And, with perks such as free spin rounds, skill-based mini-games, progressive jackpots, access to loyalty programs that let you do some gambling for free, and welcome bonuses, it’s easy to see why. The amount of options online casinos provide is staggering, you can join here and see for yourself.

However, Canada has not been involved in the making of a movie that features gambling in the digital sphere, so let’s stick to those it has created.

Owning Mahowny

If this movie was good enough to make Roger Ebert’s list of the ten best films of 2003, it can make our list too. But it isn’t just good, it’s great. And it has an impressive cast with Philip Seymour Hoffman leading the way, followed by John Hurt and Mini Driver.

It’s based on the true story of a bank clerk who embezzled over $10 million from the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce to feed his addiction, gambling.

The Last Casino

If you’ve ever had a passing interest in blackjack, then, chances are good that you’ve come across the movie – 21. It presents the story of the notorious MIT card-counting team. However, four years prior, The Last Casino was released, inspired by the same historical event. How a professor and his students turned $1000 into $35,000 by counting cards at blackjack.

Lucky Girl

A slightly obscure entry, one that can be also found under the alternative title – My Daughter’s Secret Life. This 2001 movie was one of the first starring parts for House of Wax star, Elisha Cuthbert. She plays a high-school student who’s obsessed with gambling, so much so that she piles on massive debts that strain her family relationships. A prize on a lottery ticket leads her down a dark rabbit hole.

Cold Deck

The most recent entry on our list. This 2015 thriller was directed by Zack Bernbaum, who previously made – And Now a Word from Our Sponsor, starring Bruce Greenwood.

Cold Deck tells the story of a poker player who hits rock bottom and must pull off a heist to get himself out of trouble. The great Paul Sorvino has a supporting role.

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