Passion For Oz Gambling In Films

Passion Oscar and Lucinda

Passion for gambling in Australian movies.

Australians love gambling. It’s one of the most popular entertainment activities in the country. In fact, four out of five Aussies engage in some form of gambling. This makes Australia the number one country in the world in terms of gambling loving population. 

Here’s another statistical indicator for you: there are almost 7,000 hotels, clubs, and other establishments that offer gambling opportunities, as well as almost 5,000 lottery outlets across the country; not to mention countless casinos ‘Down Under’ that have countless promotional offers such as Australian casino no deposit bonuses that attract millions of customers from ‘Down Under’.

Considering such passion for gambling, it’s kind of surprising to find out there are not that many movies that closely depict it. In fact, we were able to find three films that are related to gambling in Australia.

So, here they are:

Oscar and Lucinda

The earliest movie from our catalog, Oscar and Lucinda hit the cinema screens in 1997 and garnered some impressive attention. It’s a British-Australian romantic drama directed by acclaimed director Gillian Armstrong that takes place on a ship traveling from England to Australia back in the 1800s.

The plot revolves around two lead characters, Oscar Hopkins (Ralph Fiennes) and Lucinda Leplastrier (Cate Blanchett). Oscar is an Anglican priest from England, while Lucinda is an Australian wealthy teenage heir and owner of the glass factory. 

The passion couple meets on the ship while playing cards. Both crazy gambling lovers, Lucinda bets Oscar that he cannot transport a glass church she’s built to Outback without shattering it, to which Oscar accepts and so begins the whole story. The movie then dives deep into their romantic relationship and whatnot.

Oscar and Lucinda are a close representation of how Australians love gambling and what they’re capable of doing to win in it. The film wasn’t a box office hit by any stretch of the imagination, however, it still received positive feedback due to the impressive lead actors. It even got nominated for the Academy Award in 1998 for Best Costume Design.

Dirty Deeds

Dirty Deeds is a crime comedy that takes place in the 1960s and was directed by Australian filmmaker David Caesar. It was released in 2002 and tells a story about a funny-talking gangster Barry Ryan who controls the whole slot-machine industry in Sydney.

The movie revolves around Ryan’s business, which is doing exceptionally great due to the increase of customers, mainly the US soldiers from the Vietnam War who often visit his venues. With such popularity, Ryan’s business becomes famous beyond the country.

The US Mafia is particularly interested, who sends its hitmen to try to make Ryan share his wealth. Ryan, being a straightforward businessman, denies this ‘offer’ and so begins the main story.

The cast includes famous Australian and American actors such as Sam Worthington, Bryan Brown, Toni Collette, Sam Neill, and many more. Dirty Deeds closely depicts the great demand for slot machines that were prevalent in Australia back in the 1960s. Demand is still the same, even greater today with the exception that there are more online options to choose from.

Overall, the movie received moderate attention and passion not only in Australia but everywhere in the world and still remains one of the funniest gambling movies out there.


Among these three movies, Broke is the most recent one released in 2016. Directed by Heath Davis and shot in Queensland, the movie reflects the internal developments of the Australian Rugby League.

Despite being a fictional drama, Broke depicts the problems associated with real match-fixing and gambling addiction problems in Australian rugby players. It revolves around ex-champions who left the game but are still trying to win in life.

Director Davis admits that he personally knows many rugby players who had the same problem with gambling and was passionate to tell their story. The movie was appraised by not only critics and moviegoers, but also the professionals who are working with problem gamblers.

According to some counselors working with such people, the movie manages to describe what issues problem gamblers have to face in their lives including relationship problems, financial hardships, depression, etc. Overall, everyone remained optimistic that Broke could actually help change the attitudes towards problem gamblers in society and break this taboo that stigmatizes them.

All in all, these three movies closely depict how Australians feel about gambling and how the business is thriving ‘Down Under’.

And even though there are some regulatory measures limiting the extent to which online casinos and other establishments can expand their businesses, still, the industry is growing and maintaining its lead in the world.

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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.