There’s no denying that gambling is one of the most popular activities to do around the world. In fact, its influence is so big that it’s actually been featured in episodes of various classic television shows as well as in modern TV programs. Take a look below at some of the different TV shows with episodes that focused on gambling.
The Simpsons – ‘$pringfield (Or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Legalised Gambling)’
The Simpsons is one of the most popular television shows around and has been running for over 30 years now. Throughout its history, the show has focused on various themes and one its most famous episodes is season five’s ‘$pringfield (Or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Legalised Gambling)’ in which Springfield legalises gambling and millionaire Mr Burns opens a casino where is Homer works as a blackjack dealer.
Over the course of the episode, Marge develops a gambling addiction, spending all of her time at Mr Burns’ casino and neglecting her family. The episode sees Marge accept her addiction and move forward with her life. The episode is widely regarded as a Simpsons classic for touching on a serious issue while also retaining the traditional humour the show is known for.
Fun fact: Matt Groening revealed that Springfield is situated in the state of Oregon, a state where casinos are legal, as long as the gaming occurs on tribal land. Online casinos, on the other hand, are illegal and there are currently no plans to change these laws despite the nation-wide development of legalising remote real-money gambling, as explained on this website.
Friends – ‘The One In Vegas’
‘The One In Vegas’ is the double episode finale of Friends’ fifth season which sees the group visit Las Vegas and enjoy some of the finest blackjack and craps games in the real-life Caesar’s Palace casino. The biggest shock comes at the end of the episode’s second part where Ross and Rachel drunkenly marry at a Vegas wedding chapel.
The episode is now regarded as one of the best episodes of Friends for its hilarious subplot as well as the development of Chandler and Monica, and Ross and Rachel’s relationships. The fact the episodes were set in Vegas was a refreshing change from the usual New York setting.
Bones – ‘The Eye In The Sky’
The 15th episode of Bones’ tenth season, ‘The Eye In The Sky’, is a hugely important episode for main character detective Seeley Booth. When someone is found dead and his murder is tied to an underground poker ring, Booth must risk relapsing into his gambling addiction while joining the poker games to solve his latest case.
The episode saw Booth relapse into his gambling addiction, something Booth and those around him struggle to deal with. The episode highlighted the struggle of gambling addiction and how it affects addicts and those around them.
South Park – ‘Red Man’s Greed’
‘Red Man’s Greed’ is an episode from South Park’s seventh season. The episode sees the characters of South Park visit a casino on a Native American reservation. When Kyle’s father loses his house on a blackjack game due to a gambling addiction, the entire town of South Park is bought by the Native Americans who begin tearing it down to construct a superhighway to connect their casino to Denver.
To prevent the destruction of South Park, the residents must come up with $300,000 and do it by pooling the entire town’s money on a roulette game. Unfortunately, they bet all their winnings and lose them again, forcing Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny to save the day. The episode is one of South Park’s wackiest but references the real-life events of the 2002 – 2004 SARS outbreak as well as the Native American removal policies between the 16th and 20th centuries.