Also called the Gambling Capital of the World, Las Vegas has long remained a famous location for the shooting of many Hollywood movies. Along with providing the best entertainment in the form of gambling and food, the casinos of Las Vegas also boast beautiful architecture, which is why they have often been chosen as hot filming locations. The vast expanse of casinos and the alluring and glamorous nightlife of Sin City has been exhibited in many top films of the last few decades. These films have attracted a steady flow of tourists who have been inspired by their favorite actors sitting around blackjack or poker tables surrounded by mounds of money or winning five hands in a row.
Let’s take a look at some of the casinos that have been shown in many box office hits that still stand tall today, and you can actually visit.
Caesar’s Palace: The Hangover (2009)
The first movie of The Hangover trilogy is set in Las Vegas as the Wolfpack plans their friend’s bachelor party at the infamous Caesar Palace featuring Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis.
Caesar’s Palace was also the setting of arguably the most entertaining episodes of the Friends TV show named ‘The One With Vegas.’ One of Las Vegas’s largest and most prominent landmarks, Caesar’s Palace is a sight you simply cannot miss. Located at the west side of the Las Vegas strip, it has been based on Roman architecture, with many statues such as of Augustus Caesar, David and Venus placed at the entrance as if to greet the guests. The casino is home to an action-packed gaming floor, which features a 24-hour poker room and hundreds of poker and slot machines. Many notable artists have also performed at Caesar’s Palace, including Elton John, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Celine Dion and Cher.
The Bellagio: Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
The famous American heist film Ocean’s Eleven stars George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts. Danny Ocean (George Clooney) seeks out an 11-member team that plans to rob three famous Las Vegas casinos including The Bellagio.
The Bellagio has been based on the Lake Como town in Bellagio, Italy. Its many attractions include the world-famous Fountains of Bellagio that are synchronized with light and music, a Conservatory and Botanical Gardens with seasonal themes, the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, and of course, its casino that is the most recognized amongst poker players. In Ocean’s Eleven, Brad Pitt’s character is seen to have been teaching a number of people the finer points of poker at The Bellagio.
The Mirage: Vegas Vacation (1997)
The Griswolds plan their holidays for Vegas in the fourth Vacation series, Vegas Vacation as they decide to visit the infamous Mirage this time.
The Mirage also made an appearance in Ocean’s Eleven as one of the three casinos Danny Ocean and his team robbed and Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street.
This casino and resort have been embellished according to a Polynesian theme. Hence, its main attraction is a massive artificial volcano right at the entrance of the hotel, which erupts regularly to give an impression of Polynesia.
Planet Hollywood Casino: 21 (2008)
Although a very recent addition to the casinos of Las Vegas, the Planet Hollywood Casino was considerably shown in the movie 21. Based on real life events and starring Kevin Spacey, a group of six MIT students with card counting skills decides to take on the Vegas casinos to win millions.
Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher’s famous 2008 chick-flick, What Happens in Vegas was filmed at this hotel where Joy and Jack decide to stay, which leads to a long night of drunken escapades.
This resort features a ‘chic Hollywood’ theme with hundreds of conventional gambling machines and tables on their three-acre gaming floor.
MGM Grand Hotel and Casino: Now You See Me (2013)
The venue from which the Four Horsemen appear to do their first stunt together and rob a Parisian Bank and then shower their thrilled audience with notes is the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino.
MGM Hotel was also the final of the three hotels that Danny Ocean and his crew decide to rob simultaneously in Ocean’s Eleven.
MGM Hotel and Casino is well-known among both gamblers and non-gamblers alike because of the extensive activities it offers apart from gambling such as the ‘CSI: Experience’ where guests can solve murders interactively and for their famous golf course, the TopGolf.
Aria Resort and Casino: Jason Bourne (2016)
The Aria Resort and Casino is the tallest luxury hotel situated in the heart of Vegas.
Although a very recent structure, having only opened back in 2009, it still boasts of being prominently featured in famous Hollywood hits including the 2013 film, Last Vegas starring Robert De Niro and Morgan Freeman; and the fifth installment of the Bourne Identity series Jason Bourne starring Matt Damon and Alicia Vikander.
The Aria Hotel is most famous for incorporating technology in its decor and has been described as possibly ‘the most technologically advanced hotel ever built.’ Its attractions include the pool area and the enormous gaming floor built, which has hosted several poker tournaments.
The Venetian: Miss Congeniality 2 – Armed and Fabulous
The Venetian resort, along with the Palazzo resort is the world’s second-largest hotel. As the name suggests, it has been inspired by Venice, and many famous Venetian landmarks have been reproduced at the casino, such as the Piazza San Marco, the Rialto Bridge, the Column of St. Theodore and the Lion of Venice.
For such a spectacular casino, it is surprising that The Venetian has appeared in lesser Hollywood box office hits than its other Las Vegas counterparts. The Venetian casino features in Sandra Bullock’s acclaimed hit Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous and Rowan Atkinson’s Rat Race.
Despite having the accessibility of green screen technology at hand, film producers have preferred shooting films at such real-life locations for obvious reasons. The wild gambling, easy access to liquor, and the rowdy crowds of casinos have demonstrated the real-life atmosphere of such places to include an element of authenticity.
Most casinos you have seen in such movies are still in business and ever-expanding it to include more features. If you have been captivated by the charm of such casino hotels, traveling to Sin City should be at the top of your priority list so you can have the first-hand experience of the pleasures your favorite actors and actresses underwent.
After COVID-19 hit, some casinos were shut down to control the spread of the coronavirus. Many casinos have introduced the system of online gambling where you can hit the jackpot from the comfort of your home.