According to statistics, today every third person has some kind of addiction. This is not only about gambling addiction, but also about many others. For example, addiction to food, travel, and shopping has recently become very popular. These three addictions are included in the ranking of the most popular addictions.

If an uncontrollable habit appears in life, because of which a career, studies, relationships, friendships, and health collapse, this is already an addiction. Therefore, it is important to contact a specialist if you notice signs of an unhealthy attachment to something. In this review, we will look at the top 5 films about gambling addiction, which show how addiction can ruin health, destroy a family, and even a person’s life. Most of the films in this collection are based on real-life stories.

Happy Girl (2001)

The Canadian film tells the story of 17-year-old Kathleen Palmerston, a high-achieving schoolgirl who is addicted to gambling. It all starts quite innocently, at her friend’s birthday party. Wanting to quickly save up for a trip to Europe, she plays poker for money.

The events in the film show the problem very realistically – at a birthday party, Caitlin plays poker with her friends – and she manages to win the game.

After the victory, she thought that this method would help her raise money for a trip to Europe. She soon becomes involved in sports gambling to earn more money for the trip. Her parents view her passion for sports like basketball and football as just a milestone.

When Caitlin starts losing money, she loses control of herself – she steals her mother’s credit card, becomes addicted to online gambling, neglects her appearance, and also doesn’t repay her classmates. Over time, the stakes increase and Caitlin becomes involved in illegal gambling. By this time her life is out of control, she lies about the extent of her problems and is losing more money than she ever thought.

Mother (2020)

A Japanese film about addiction shows a single mother, Akiko, who does not work anywhere and spends all her money on slot machines. After she once again contacted another man, she leaves for a few days and leaves her little son Shuhei with a friend. The boy does not go to school and Akiko is needed only to constantly beg for money from relatives. But despite such a life and endless humiliation, Xuhei is very attached to his mother.

Unfortunately, the story of this film is a reflection of the reality of many gamers. When a person becomes addicted, he not only loses control over his finances but also forgets about his social roles. Many gamers leave minor children in the care of strangers, and then completely forget about them.

Get Back (2017)

In this American comedy, although it shows the addiction of the main character, in this film the events are presented humorously, so watching the story is not as sad as in the previous two films.

The protagonist Eddie Garrett agrees to look after the bag of his friend, who is sent to prison. Eddie finds money in the bag and, mired in debt, succumbs to temptation. When a friend’s prison term comes to an end, Eddie suddenly has a chance to return all the money spent. He can do this only with the help of his gambling attachment.

Possessed (2002)

The Canadian-British film tells the story of bank clerk Dan Mahone, who by day is an exemplary worker with an ideal reputation, but after working in this “still pool” devils appear.

An exemplary banker spends all nights in a row in a casino, leaving all his savings there. At some point, he finds himself in a big minus, and his debts are growing every day. One day, he develops and implements a cunning plan that, if successful, will allow him to no longer return to work. But for this, he will need a lot of money – the money of his clients.

Unfortunately, this story reflects the reality of the modern world. It often happens that inveterate gamblers use other people’s money in the hope of winning back and returning everything in double size, but almost always they fail, and debts become even greater. Many such stories often end in suicide, because a person falls into despair and sees no way out of this situation.

Big Bet (2005)

This American film is interesting for its plot construction. The authors of the film intertwine several storylines that first exist in parallel, and then collide with each other. The film tells about people who at first glance have nothing to do with each other. However, there is still something that unites them – it is a passion for gambling.

The film has several main characters. Carolyn is a writer, loving wife, and mother. It seems that the woman is quite happy in marriage and her whole life is filled with joy. Her family is sure that Carolyn is working on a new book, but in fact, she spends all her free time at the slot machines. Once in a casino, she met the magician Walter, because she spent all the family savings.

The other two characters are Augie and Murph, bookie friends. Their friend Clyde gambles constantly and has accumulated large debts to Augie and Murph. Clyde has a brother – a young athlete, whom he persuades to a fixed match. But things don’t go as he planned.

Another character is Ivan, the patron of the gaming mafia, to whom the plot constantly refers the viewer. And although no one has ever seen him, he is behind all the dark deeds. And Detective Brunner will have to figure out if he has anything to do with a series of murders among bookmakers.

This film, unlike all the previous ones, is rather fantastic, but it also describes the behavior and habits of addicted people.


Even though all the films described are only the embodiment of the directors’ fantasy, such films help people open their eyes to the real world of addictions and problems. It is important to remember that any passion for something beyond measure has negative consequences. This is especially true of those entertainments in which money is involved. Such films teach people that a thoughtless attitude to their finances can not only negatively affect their financial situation but also destroy their lives.