Casino games may have started out as simple, manual devices, but they’ve evolved quickly into technically advanced experiences. As well as more elaborate games and machines, casinos have become lavish, futuristic spaces host to innovative forms of entertainment. Everything from virtual reality, to elaborate performance art, to interactive games such as escape rooms – casinos have innovated to keep the experience engaging for modern visitors.
What role have horror films played in the evolution of casino games? Horror cinema has been part of popular culture for over a century, and we are going to take a look at how this is reflected in the world of casino gaming, both in the iconic casino buildings and in the increasingly popular space of online casinos such as Cherrycasino.
Witzi Wits the Fortune Telle is one of the earliest examples of horror – meets – casino that we could find. The parlor game features a spinning roulette style wheel, where the players land on various fortunes – or misfortunes. Intact copies are sadly quite rare now, but back in 1926 when the Witzi Wits game was released it was a popular Halloween activity. And we love the gorgeous vintage Halloween illustrations on the wheel and box.
Casinos have also collided with more recent horror films and franchises in the creation of specialised haunt attractions. The trend of haunted tours is an old one, yet many haunts still use centuries old tricks to create spooky scenes. Still, some of the most memorable horror movie Villains are known to hang out in casinos for special interactive horror events. The Pasaje del Terror is a horror experience at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in the UK, built inside Blackpools historic (and supposedly haunted) casino building. The tour is the UK’s longest-running and considered the most intense, scare-attraction in the country – visitors returning to the haunted casino featuring horror film Villains for over twenty years.
The famous Montreal Casino also joined in the Halloween celebrations a couple of years ago. The five night event ran over Halloween 2019, with the casino promising “creepy monsters, horror sets, and free activities that come alive after the sun goes down.”
Visitors to the casino would enter through a graveyard, welcomed by costumed staff resembling ghouls, goblins and werewolves. The space was divided into various themed sections, with props and decor adorning the various table and machine games within the casino. The sections included a mad scientist’s laboratory, the eerie cemetery, and a carnival of sinister clowns. The casino went all out for the event, with animatronics and elaborate decor, as well as spooky live music, Halloween themed games, trick or treat candy and cocktails.
The Planet Hollywood Resort Casino is another major destination for gambling and spooks! The Zombie Burlesque is a horror musical show set inside the casino. It takes place in Las Vegas during the Atomic Era, circa 1958 as a zombie pandemic plows through the streets of Sin City.
The increase in these styles of events within casinos shows how horror influences are a part of the gambling industry. Providing more than just the game experience, it seems visitors love combining their love of gambling and scares.