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The Spy – Espionage In Casinos From James Bond To 007

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Espionage in casinos

With a Walther PPK, a perfectly tailored tux and a seemingly bottomless line of credit James Bond makes a splash. That no spy draws this much attention to themselves apparently just not important to audiences. There might have been other movies featuring espionage in casinos but Bond stole this show. As Bet365 is the best of the online betting sites in the UK, so James Bond is the be all and end all of cinema spies. His casinos scenes are legend and have become a default public perception.   

For many, perhaps those unaccustomed to such places, the word casino instantly conjures images of wealth. The expensive décor, the quiet dignified atmosphere, the well-heeled clientele. We are far more ready as cinema goers to think of Monte Carlo than Reno. This is in no small part due to James Bond, the whimsical superhero of British intelligence. Reoccurring espionage in the casinos’ theme in Bond movies has cemented certain expectations the gaming industry finds both helpful and hindering.

Sean Connery plays baccarat in Dr No, a game most of the audience wouldn’t have understood. In Thunderball he’s at it again, with the reassuring sound of the roulette table in the background. Even George Lazenby took at turn at espionage in casinos during On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. These establishments are exclusives and elitist, the heady playgrounds of the rich. For those that would have bet on sports in the UK at the time, this was pure escapism. Bond took audiences to a world they couldn’t visit. 

James Bond

“Courage is no match for an unfriendly shoe, countess.”

Bond Perpetuates Perception Bet365 Et All Live With

Backroom Casinos

At least mostly. In Diamonds Are Forever some slight reality crept in, but this sojourn into espionage in casinos in the US was quickly swept under the carpet. Roger Moore sweeps to victory in For Your Eyes Only and then inexplicably in Octopussy changes game. Baccarat left behind, it’s backgammon that takes over. This is more common but it is only in Licence To Kill Timothy Dalton plays a game everyone knows. Blackjack. It even feels slightly too cheap for the room. 

Perhaps that’s why the inclination for Bond is always towards the aloof. Pierce Brosnan returned to Baccarat in Golden Eye, and set the seal on part of the Bond formula. So much so, that the latest Bond incarnation returned to Casino Royale, where gaming took center stage. Daniel Craig perpetuates the perception duality that online sportsbook sites in the UK like Bet365 need combat. Not everyone at a casino is an evil mastermind, armed intelligence officer or duplicitous love interest pursuing espionage in casinos.

Now Pay Attention Double-Oh-Seven……

Naturally, Bond is inherently silly. Tongue in cheek as much as gun in holster. The swagger and sexist posturing of the early films massively ridiculous. Indeed the casino scenes of more recent Bond films are as if something salvaged from the wreckage of his former self. The toxic macho tendencies banished a familiar trope had to be retained. Gambling and espionage in casinos is that anchor to the previous generation. There is perhaps nothing as safe and predictable for audiences as Bond in a casino.

James Bond

“It’s all in the wrist.”

The gaming industry then both benefits and suffers from James Bond and his eternal habit of espionage in casinos. The image of a refined playground of the rich and famous winning fortunes off each other helps, the lurking evil, not so much. So, whilst Bet365 and the like operate under UK gambling laws, they are in no small way also operating in the shadow of Bond. It has led people to expect Monte Carlo wherever they gamble, and sometimes, alas only Reno is available.

Read more about gambling in cinema’s different genres.

We take a look at espionage in casinos with a quick look at the epitome of suave, James Bond.

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