If a friend asked you to think of something from the world of entertainment that connects ‘casinos’ and ‘pop culture’, the chances are that James Bond would spring to mind. That would be understandable really, considering how the spy’s adventures have featured the glamour of casinos on numerous occasions – including in, of course, Daniel Craig’s debut movie Casino Royale. However, the casino industry’s link to modern entertainment does not begin and end with the big screen. This area also has a significant relationship with the world of music and there are numerous examples of the pair combining to pretty impressive effect. Here, we take a look at just a few ways that rock music and casinos have proven to be a real match made in heaven.
Nowhere is this connection between music and casino gaming more obvious than in the domain of online slots. Casino sites have evolved significantly through the years and they now offer a wide range of games under one roof. Digital versions of old-school slot machines have become a core part of the area, as online casinos feature titles based on a wide range of themes. For instance, 888 Casino Canada includes games inspired by everything from the Wild West to Norse mythology. However, the site also has a particularly strong line-up when it comes to music-themed games. Music and slots might not be two areas that you would immediately put together, but the Music To My Ears section on 888 is packed with famous names – and there is a notable emphasis on the wild style and action of the rock world.
There are lots of major acts that make an appearance and have their own online slot, including Kiss, Alice Cooper, ZZ Top, Ozzy Osbourne, and Motorhead. There are also titles based on Spinal Tap and Guns N Roses, while players can sample other rock-themed experiences such as Gods of Rock and Rock the Reels Megaways. The selection is not just limited to rock stars, however. Fans of other genres will also see titles like DJ Wild, Beat The House, and even a slot based on the movie musical classic Grease. This speaks to the success of this pairing, both in terms of the variety and the popularity of these types of titles.
It is pretty clear that the casino world has turned to rock for inspiration on many occasions. However, it is also important to note that the relationship between casinos and music is not just a one-way street. Rock and other genres have also been influenced by gambling, with some iconic tunes emerging as a result. Arguably one of the most famous is, of course, Ace of Spades. It is undoubtedly fitting that Motorhead have an online slot, considering their most famous song has such a strong gambling theme. Back in 2015, BBC News examined the song and discussed its wide range of references to the world, from snake eyes to double up or quit. It also outlined why frontman Lemmy chose the Ace of Spades to focus on. He said it was “bad luck” and if that was used as a theme, “then it can’t get any worse”.
Elsewhere, The Gambler by Kenny Rogers is another song that famously features a few references to this theme. There are also plenty of nods to casino games in the Elvis Presley classic Viva Las Vegas. Tumbling Dice by the Rolling Stones deserves a mention too, while the pop world has not ignored the appeal of casino gaming either. After all, Lady Gaga’s Poker Face is perhaps one of the most obvious examples of a pop star embracing the imagery of card games and gambling.
Finally, there is another key connection that brings together the world of casinos and rock music. Casino resorts have featured entertainment venues for many years now – and this means that some famous names from the world of music have played in such locations. Artists like Celine Dion have strong links to Las Vegas residencies, but some major rock bands have also played at casinos through the years. In fact, a few are even expected to grace the stage in the coming months.
Lavish Vegas has pulled together a full list of the artists expected to have Las Vegas residencies across 2022, with a host of iconic names featuring in the article. For instance, the website explains how Aerosmith will be rocking out with their Deuces Are Wild residency at the Park Theater at Park MGM. More classic rock thrills are set to be provided by the legendary band Journey, who are expected to perform in The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. Foreigner are taking to the stage at the Venetian Theatre in Vegas too, while the iconic guitarist Carlos Santana is also set to play his greatest hits at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay.
By taking this step and performing in Vegas, these rockers are joining an impressive list of artists. In 2020, List Wire compiled a rundown of the top-grossing musical residencies in the city and it features famous rock stars including Rod Stewart and Elton John. Other iconic names that get a mention include Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and the aforementioned Celine Dion. The latter reportedly made $245.5 million from her Celine run, as well as $385 million from A New Day.
An Incredible Relationship
Casinos and their glamourous image have been part of popular culture for many years and they have struck up an incredible relationship with the music world in that time. The connection is not something that is always immediately obvious. But, once you start to take a closer look, the links then become very apparent. Rock music and casinos have been a major inspiration to each other through the decades and, with major Las Vegas residencies and concerts on the horizon, it is hard to see this connection disappearing anytime soon.
Will we see more rock-influenced online slots appear in the coming years? And will major stars and groups turn to casinos once again for a bit of song inspiration? It will be fascinating to see just what emerges next.
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