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From Bond Girls to Casino Moguls: Female Stars Who Have Shaped the Film and TV Depictions of Casinos

Round Head IconMarch 23, 2023 - CasinoChick

Welcome to the glitz and glam of the casino world!

Casino Chick has been dealing with the exciting world of showbiz in several articles so far.

Different takes on a popular theme can be found at:

And in this article, we’ll be exploring the significant impact of female stars on the portrayal of casinos in popular culture.

From Bond girls to casino moguls, women have played a significant role in shaping the way we see the casino industry on screen.

Casinos have been a fixture of popular culture for decades, serving as the backdrop for some of the most iconic films and TV shows of all time. From the suave and sophisticated James Bond to the flashy and flamboyant Las Vegas, casinos have been portrayed in many different ways over the years.

We’ll take a deep dive into the Bond girls’ impact on the franchise, explore the rise of female casino moguls in Las Vegas, analyse the role of women in casino heist films, and examine the influence of other female stars on the genre.

So, grab a martini, place your bets, and let’s dive into the world of female stars and their impact on the casino industry!

Overview of the James Bond Franchise and its Relationship with Casinos

James Bond and casinos go together like martinis and olives.

The franchise has featured some of the most iconic casino scenes in film history, with the suave secret agent often finding himself in high-stakes games of baccarat or poker.

But it’s not just Bond who steals the show in these casino scenes.

The Bond girls have played a significant role in shaping the way we see the casino genre on screen.

From Ursula Andress’s iconic entrance in ‘Dr. No’ to Eva Green’s captivating performance as Vesper Lynd in ‘Casino Royale’, Bond girls have brought sophistication, intrigue, and sex appeal to the casino scenes.

Vesper Lynd

Played by Eva Green, Vesper is a character that first appeared in the 2006 film adaptation of Casino Royale.

She is one of the most complex and influential Bond girls, and her impact on the franchise and the portrayal of women in Bond films cannot be overstated.

Vesper is introduced as a British Treasury official tasked with overseeing Bond’s gambling activities at the casino in Montenegro. She is initially cold and distant towards Bond, but as they work together to defeat a common enemy, she begins to warm up to him. Their relationship is complicated by Vesper’s tragic backstory and her role in a larger plot.

Vesper’s character is a departure from the traditional Bond girl archetype.

She is intelligent, complex, and emotionally vulnerable, and her storyline subverts the typical male-female power dynamic in Bond films. Eva Green’s portrayal of Vesper earned her critical acclaim, and she became a benchmark for future Bond girls.

Vesper’s influence can also be seen in subsequent Bond films, such as Skyfall, where the female characters are given more agency and depth than in earlier films. She has also had an impact on the wider casino genre, inspiring more complex and nuanced portrayals of female characters in gambling settings.

Xenia Onatopp

Another notable Bond girl who left a lasting impact on the casino genre, portrayed by Famke Janssen, was a Bond girl in the 1995 film GoldenEye.

She was a former Soviet fighter pilot turned assassin, and her role in the film was not specifically related to casinos. However, her character did participate in a casino scene where she gambled with her victim before killing him, which added to the film’s casino theme.

Furthermore, her seductive, villainous character and the depiction of a strong, sexual female villain challenged traditional gender roles in the Bond franchise and contributed to the evolution of female characters in the casino genre.

Las Vegas and the Rise of Female Casino Moguls

Let’s hit the jackpot with our next section on the rise of female casino moguls.

Move over, boys, it’s time for the ladies to shine!

Las Vegas has seen the rise of many female executives who have dominated the casino industry. But it’s not just on the Strip that they’re making waves, as real-life moguls like Elaine Wynn and Cynthia H. Stafford have shown.

First, let’s take a stroll down the neon-lit streets of Las Vegas and explore the TV show Las Vegas, which put female casino executives in the spotlight.

From Samantha Jane “Sam” Marquez, the casino’s host, to Mary Connell, the director of special events, these women showed that they can be just as ruthless and savvy as their male counterparts. The show not only entertained us but also helped to break down gender barriers in the casino industry.

But it’s not just fiction.

Real-life female casino moguls have been making strides in the industry as well.

Elaine Wynn

The ex-wife of casino mogul Steve Wynn co-founded Wynn Resorts and helped to build it into one of the biggest players in the casino world. At the resort, she served as its director and shareholder.

She was instrumental in designing and developing the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore Las Vegas, two of the most luxurious and profitable casino resorts in the world.

In addition to her work with Wynn Resorts, Elaine Wynn has been involved in numerous charitable and philanthropic organizations, including the Nevada Ballet Theatre and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She is also a strong advocate for education, serving as a trustee for several universities and schools.

Cynthia H. Stafford

A single mom from California, Cynthia won the lottery and used her winnings to become a casino mogul, building her own empire.

Her story is truly a remarkable one.

Born in California in 1967, Stafford was a struggling single mother working as a clerk for the California Employment Development Department when she won in 2007. With her newfound wealth, she decided to follow her passion for real estate and began investing in properties.

Stafford’s success in real estate eventually led her to the casino industry.

She used her winnings to invest in several casinos, including the Fiesta Rancho Casino Hotel in North Las Vegas, which she purchased for $27 million in 2010.

Stafford also founded the Queen of Hearts Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides resources and support for families affected by tragedies, such as domestic violence and natural disasters.

Today, Stafford is considered one of the most successful female casino moguls in the world.

From Showgirls to Ocean’s 8: Women in Casino Heist Films

Welcome to the most daring section of our casino journey, where we explore the dynamic relationship between heist films and casinos.

These high-stakes capers always have us on the edge of our seats, wondering if the characters will pull off the ultimate score or get caught in the act.

But what about the women in these films?

Historically, heist films were dominated by male characters, but over the years, female characters have become more prominent, and casinos have played a key role in this transformation.

From classics like The Sting and Ocean’s Eleven to modern films like Widows and Hustlers, heist films have always relied on the allure of the casino to heighten the suspense and add an extra layer of danger to the plot.

The Sting

Released in 1973, this movie is a classic heist film that follows a group of con artists as they attempt to pull off a complex scam on a powerful gangster.

The movie was a critical and commercial success, and it remains a classic of the genre to this day.

Ocean’s Eleven

Released in 2001, this was a remake of a 1960 film of the same name.

Directed by Steven Soderbergh and featuring an all-star cast led by George Clooney and Brad Pitt, the film tells the story of a group of thieves who plan to rob three Las Vegas casinos at once.

The movie was a huge commercial success and spawned two sequels, as well as a spin-off film featuring an all-female cast. Of course, we’re talking about Ocean’s 8, a team of female thieves led by Sandra Bullock’s character Debbie Ocean executes an elaborate plan to steal a $150 million necklace from the Met Gala.

The influence of these films can be seen in the many heist flicks that have followed in their wake.

From The Italian Job to The Town, filmmakers have continued to explore the world of high-stakes theft and elaborate cons.

More recently, films like Widows and Hustlers have added new layers to the genre, featuring female-led casts and exploring issues of gender and power in the world of crime.


Released in 2018 and directed by Steve McQueen, this flick tells the story of a group of women who attempt to pull off a heist after their criminal husbands are killed in a botched robbery.

The movie features an all-star cast including Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, and Michelle Rodriguez, and explores themes of grief, power, and corruption.


Released in 2019 and directed by Lorene Scafaria, this is a crime drama inspired by a true story.

The film follows a group of strippers who begin to scam their wealthy Wall Street clients, ultimately taking in millions of dollars. The movie features an all-star cast including Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, and Cardi B, and explores themes of ambition, greed, and female empowerment.

These films subvert traditional gender roles in the crime genre, where women are often relegated to the role of victim or love interest.

Instead, they show women as competent and capable of pulling off daring heists. They also challenge the notion that women are less suited for action-packed, high-stakes adventures, proving that they can hold their own in a male-dominated genre.

With these films, women have not only broken through the glass ceiling in the heist film genre but also have reshaped the portrayal of casinos in pop culture.

The Influence of Female Stars on Casino Pop Culture

Over the years, many women have made their mark in the industry.

From the iconic Sharon Stone in Casino to the sassy Jennifer Tilly in Bride of Chucky, female stars have brought a new dimension to the casino genre.

Sharon Stone

Her performance as Ginger McKenna in the 1995 film Casino is often cited as a benchmark for female roles in the casino genre.

In the film, Stone portrays a glamorous and complex character who is both vulnerable and fiercely independent.

Ginger is a former prostitute who marries into the Las Vegas casino scene and becomes a high-rolling socialite but struggles with addiction and a tumultuous relationship with her husband, played by Robert De Niro.

Stone’s portrayal of Ginger was praised for its nuanced and authentic portrayal of a woman in a male-dominated industry.

She was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance, and her character has since become a pop culture icon. Her wardrobe and hairstyles in the film have been emulated in fashion, and her character has been referenced in other films and television shows.

Stone’s portrayal of Ginger in Casino paved the way for more complex and multidimensional female characters in the casino genre. She showed that women could be more than just sex symbols or accessories to male leads, but could have their own agency, desires, and struggles. Her character’s arc also demonstrated the consequences of the glamorized casino lifestyle, and the dangers of unchecked power and addiction.

Jennifer Tilly

Her portrayal of Tiffany in Bride of Chucky is also notable for its impact on the casino genre in popular culture.

In the film, Tilly’s character is a con artist who wins a jackpot at a casino and uses the money to buy a wedding present for the titular doll couple. Tilly’s performance received critical acclaim, with many praising her comedic timing and on-screen charisma.

Her character, Tiffany, became a fan favourite and her appearance in the film helped to solidify her status as a talented and versatile actress.


It’s clear that the impact of female stars on the casino genre in popular culture cannot be overstated.

They have shaped the portrayal of casinos and gambling, subverted gender stereotypes, and helped to create more diverse and realistic representations of women in the industry.

As we move forward, we can expect to see more positive changes in the casino genre, and female stars will undoubtedly continue to play a vital role in shaping its evolution.

Whether it’s through their acting, producing, or directing, female stars have the power to create meaningful change in the industry, and we can’t wait to see what they’ll do next.

Round Man Blue

Mimi is a Content Writer and Graphic Designer, a double threat of the team. She works hard to provide visually pleasing content for all Casino Chicks out there. Mimi is all about no-nonsense business but delivers jokes like no other. In her free time, she listens to metal, goes thrifting, and hangs out with her niece and nephews.