Casinos are the ultimate stomping grounds for risk takers and their very presence creates a thrill of its own. The drama, glitz and glamor of the casino experience continually influences the entertainment sector, from James Bond to gangster films.
Music videos have also caught on to the arresting imagery that a casino can create. Here’s a rundown of some of the best casino-themed music videos to hit the pop world in recent years.
24K Magic – Bruno Mars
The video for this soul-funk infused track is set in Sin City and mainly centers on Bruno Mars and crew living it up in true Vegas style. After arriving on a private jet Bruno and company find their way to the Fremont casino where they place bets and spin the roulette wheel like there’s no tomorrow.
Bellagio’s iconic fountains also make an appearance, with Mr Mars on a jet ski in front.
There’s a 1980s excess feel about the video and song – full of electro-funky retro hooks.
On my Mind – Ellie Goulding
This is an infectious electro-pop jam that largely received positive music critic reviews when it was released in 2015.
According to the director Emil Nava, the video concept was meant to evoke a sort of ‘Thelma & Louise’ vibe. The video is set in Las Vegas and takes viewers through a turbulent interaction between the main characters.
One of the highlights of the video is the scene where the main love interest and her side kick ride into a casino on horses to confront her estranged lover as patrons play slots and other casino games. This video is generally a interesting take on relationships, breakups and payback. The heightened atmosphere of the casino environment adds to the drama.
Money on My Mind – Sam Smith
This is the second single from Sam Smiths debut album ‘In the Lonely Hour’ that was released in 2014.
The song hit number one in the UK charts and also charted in several other European countries. The casino theme is introduced early in the video with clips of people playing casino games interspersed with slowed down footage of Smith walking down a Las Vegas boulevard. The video does not have a linear storyline but does well to highlight the different ways people spend their time in Sin City.
Waking up in Vegas – Katy Perry
The video for this 2009 hit was shot in Las Vegas and directed by renowned videographer Joseph Kahn. In the first scene, Katy is standing with her male love interest in front of a slot machine in a laundromat.
The man inserts a coin and pulls the lever on the slot machine that triggers a jackpot, leaving them both in astonishment. The timeline then shifts to the night before when the two enjoyed quite an eventful night of revelry that included significant casino losses. The slot jackpot at the beginning is like a crowning moment after the previous day’s bad luck.
A Shot at the Night – The Killers
This is the lead song from The Killers’ compilation album titled ‘Direct Hits’ that was released on September 16, 2013 which was the 10th anniversary of the band’s first London show.
The video for the track depicts a hard working hotel maid working in a hotel in Las Vegas who seems disillusioned by the mundane nature of her everyday life.
Her life suddenly takes a better turn when she stumbles upon a love interest who is a guest at the hotel where she works. The instant connection leads to a night of enjoyment including a spot of casino fun. The two actors have great chemistry and do a great job of bringing out their characters.
The video features some panoramic views of Vegas’ iconic skyline.
Fact: This video was ranked by the Las Vegas Review Journal as the second best music video set in Las Vegas.
Lick – Cardi B
New York wordsmith Cardi B joins forces with Migos group member, Offset, in this heist-inspired video for the song ‘Lick’. The entire video is set in a casino with the first part focusing on the fun side of things; gambling and liquor. The later scenes highlight a strategic heist of the casino’s safes by Cardi after-which she flees with the loot. The video is reminiscent of Hollywood heist movies that often have us rooting for the bad guys.
WARNING: Video contains strong language.