Casinos and consoles: can it work?

Legislation and ethical concerns are two big issues when it comes to incorporating casino culture into the games console market. While online gambling is illegal in many regions in which consoles are prevalent, for example, all but three American states, that has not stopped some games developers from trying to mimic the atmosphere in their games. Here’s a look back at some of the best casinos in today’s console classics.



The rumour mill went into overdrive as it was alleged that the newest release of Grand Theft Auto V for the XBox One and PlayStation 4 consoles would give players access to the Vinewood Casino. Previously, the casino was only available to look at from the outside in, displaying a sign outside saying: “Opening Soon,” teasing players into the possibility of going inside. Of course, that did nothing to dispel its realism; it still overlooks the Vinewood Racetrack, giving an insight into the world of gambling without putting players at any financial risk.

Red Dead Redemption

Another of the Rockstar Games collection, Red Dead Redemption went one step further than Grand Theft Auto by offering players the chance to make wagers within its Western style saloons. Indeed, it couldn’t advise players on how to play roulette like MajesticSlots, but it did make it that much more exciting with games of poker and blackjack. What’s more, players could take a wager on many traditional activities from arm wrestling to horse shoes, liar’s dice and five finger fillet. It may not have been mimicking the casino atmosphere of 2014, but it certainly brought an additional element of thrill to a game which predominantly focused on violence.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

This may seem a surprising entry, but it’s not just the modern day consoles that have chosen to dabble in the theme of gambling. Step back in time to 1992 and owners of Megadrives the world over were playing Sonic the Hedgehog 2. While our favourite super hero hedgehog wasn’t exactly chasing chips on a blackjack table, there were entire levels dedicated to the casino theme including ‘Casino Night Zone.’ Sonic would jump around the level collecting ‘jackpot’ rings, making for a fun and pretty aesthetically pleasing experience given the time of its release. What’s more, the game has now been digitally remastered for Android, so you can play the casino atmosphere time and again with your favourite retro hero.

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