The gambling industry continues to thrive as billions of dollars are spent on an annual basis by punters who dream of hitting the big jackpot and winning a considerable amount of money. Casinos and bingo halls remain the traditional choice for gamblers who continue to attend in their drove to savour the excitement, drama and tension of placing bets across odds-based games, or waiting anxiously with their dabber to see if their numbers are called out. The emergence and subsequent advancements in the internet and handheld device technology has revolutionised the industry in providing gamblers with an innovative and more convenient method of gambling. It is now possible for gamblers to place bets and play their favourite money-based games wherever they are, whether it is during a long commute or a quick break from household chores.
Playing casino games or bingo has always contained a level of attraction and addiction through its ability to create suspense, as the single turn of a card, roulette wheel, slot machine barrel or bingo cage can change the entire outcome. Such qualities have been utilised within box office movies which perfectly capture the level of drama that is associated with gambling in high-stake environments. Computer game developers have also jumped on the gambling bandwagon to recreate casino games in stand-alone titles, with poker games becoming an instant hit across the gaming community. Gambling has also been integrated in a number of games to provide an additional, unique feature away from the main storyline, and allow gamers to seek out bonuses that can enhance their gaming experience.
Grand Theft Auto V
The recent instalment in the hugely popular Grand Theft Auto games series has generated a new wave of gamers who have instantly taken to the multitude of activities available across the story and online mode. Grand Theft Auto V symbolises the considerable advancements in graphical and cinematic capabilities to create a wonderful game that places gamers at the heart of the action, whether it is behind the wheel of a fast sports car or handling a semi-automatic rifle during a job. The game includes a luxurious casino within the streets of Los Santos, but is only included as part of the scenery and does not allow gamers to enter and play casino games. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is currently the only title in the series which includes an accessible casino that allows gamers to gamble in the hope of adding more money to their character’s bank account. Rockstar have, however, integrated an innovative form of gambling into Grand Theft Auto V’s gameplay as gamers are able to place bets on who they think will win races and deathmatches in which they are involved via the online mode. The game generates accurate odds based upon each player’s record, with the maximum bet limit set at $2500; it provides an extra incentive for gamers to perform well whilst competing against others online and earn more money for in-game purchases for their character.
Red Dead Redemption
Set in Western America, gamers play the role of outlaw John Marston who strives to clear his name, avenge his father’s death and bring justice across America and Mexico. The game beautifully recreates how life would have been like within early 20th Century America, as gamers can ride around on horseback, or enjoy a ride via horse and carriage, and travel between numerous towns which require Marston’s help and places him one step closer to the man who betrayed him. While bringing criminals to justice and participating in duels outside each saloon bar, there are a multitude of activities for gamers to enjoy throughout Red Dead Redemption, which include hunting animals and working for the law. Gambling also features as mini-games which can be utilised for gamers to earn more money to be used to purchase guns, maps or other amenities. The existence of blackjack, horse shoes and poker accurately depicts the early origins of casino games as Western Americans often indulged in gambling in the saloon bar whilst enjoying a few drinks.
Fallout: New Vegas
Betheseda Softworks’ ability to create an enthralling game set in a world which has been destroyed by a nuclear apocalypse has created a fan base of several million gamers who are captivated by its storyline. Although gamers eagerly wait in anticipation for any news on the next instalment of the Fallout series, the previous titles captured the imagination of the gaming community and created a world of nostalgic fans that have immersed themselves in the Fallout story. Fallout: New Vegas followed on from the hugely successful Fallout 3 title, with the game set in the heart of Las Vegas in the midst of an apocalypse where gamers can choose from a number of groups to form an alliance with, whilst overturning the power held by the Enclave. Despite a nuclear bomb wiping out a large percentage of the city, three luxurious casinos remain standing for gamers to enter and enjoy playing slots, blackjack and roulette. Although its setting would suggest that Fallout: New Vegas would include gambling in the form of mini-games, it is surprising that casinos, let alone any other building, managed to remain fully functional following a nuclear bomb.