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  1. Being a gambling enthusiast doesn’t have to mean spending all of your time at a casino – whether online or land-based. Even professional sports players don’t spend all their time on the field or in the gym, right? If you want to find a balance between still living your best gambling life and staying close to the games you love, keep reading. Punters from around the world have plenty of creative ways to show off their favourite pastime, and if you are a fan, these ideas will work perfectly for you. Kick It with Online Streamers Being a spectator while you take a break from placing bets yourself is one way to stay connected. Casino streamers became all the rage in the last year, and sites like Twitch and YouTube Live host millions of live streamers who cover an array of topics. Twitch is by far the most popular choice for gambling live streams, though, and they have well over 100 channels devoted to this topic. You can expect to see a live feed of the game the streamer is playing as well as a video stream of the player - if they’re not playing from a land-based casino. Because these live recordings are of real money gambling, which is an age-restricted topic, the streams are only intended for viewers of legal age. The advantage of tuning in to a live stream of a popular casino streamer is that you get to enjoy the thrill of casino games, most often slots, but you don’t spend a cent and you can chat to your fellow viewers. One of the most popular Twitch streamers is Trainwreckstv. Tyler Faraz Niknam has 1.7 million followers on his Twitch channel, and the streamer plays various casino games while preferring slot games. Streamers like AdinRoss take a different approach and stream with a bunch of friends. They stay online for hours and incorporate other entertaining feeds into their videos. With a mind-blowing 5.4 million following, they rake in close to a million views on a session. CasinoDaddy streams every day and plays high roller games, including poker. Roshtein is very popular on Twitch as well with 830K followers and Teceno is a good choice for esports betting fans. Get Inked with Gambling Symbols Serious gamblers have often turned to a permanent trophy they can always have with them. The popularity of tattoos increased tremendously in the 21st century, and the stigma attached to getting inked slowly became something of the past. Today, it is an art and tattoo artists with tremendous talent create masterpieces for enthusiasts. Punters no longer need to page through a booklet of pictures and pick their favourite image. Modern tattoo artists can envision the inspiration behind your tattoo and create something truly unique to you. Some of the most popular gambling tattoo images include playing cards and most refer to luck in some form. The Vegas, Nevada, sign is a very popular choice to incorporate into your art, as well as casino chips and whiskey on ice. The ace of spades card is a good option and blackjack as well. Some of the most famous gamblers have tattoos that incorporate all aspects of gambling, making it a stunning collage of casino images. A hand that holds a royal flush, rolling dice, and money often make it into the design and they can easily incorporate lucky numbers to make it as personal as possible. With the right tattoo artist, you can get a piece that is incredibly personal and may even be your own personal lucky charm. Dress in Gambling Apparel The love for gambling is nothing new and a couple of designers have used it as the inspiration behind their labels. Lucky7 is one such brand and the iconic logo of the brand incorporates the luckiest number. You can’t help but feel lucky dressed in this men’s brand available in Quebec. A brand with a similar name called Lucky Brand, founded in Los Angeles, gives you the chance to dress in luck from head to toe. Other brands may not scream gambling, but a name like Ed Hardy is a quintessential rock label and his designs incorporate some symbols well known in gambling. Wearing a Don Ed Hardy creation may not be everyone’s style and you will definitely stand out from the crowd, but his recognisable work with its skulls and tigers will tick all the boxes for punk punters. Rhinestone finishes and contemplative phrases make his clothes an exciting choice for gamblers. If you are looking for something unique, you can design a custom image or download free templates of gambling images and have them printed on clothing. Some websites offer a range of images to choose from and a variety of shirts or hoodies to print on. These include cute phrases and iconic images to show off your love for gambling. Textiles with unique gambling prints on them are available online as well and with these, you could make outfits according to your liking. Hollywood and Casino Life Gambling is such a big part of society that it must be part of filmmaking. Movies allow us to travel from this world to one where anything is possible. Casino inspired Hollywood titles are a great way to enjoy the wagering life while placing nothing on the line. ✓ Rounders (1998) Matt Damon takes the lead in this classic gambling flick. The young Mike McDermott (Damon), a gifted poker player, is a reformed gambler that faces a tough call when an old friend knocks on his door. Lester Murphy, portrayed by Edward Norton, lures Mike back into the game and before long he is tangled in a KGB mob drama where he must face his nemesis Teddy, played by John Malkovich. This gambling drama is one of those must-watch 90s movies. ✓ 21 (2008) If you are a blackjack enthusiast, you may have heard of the MIT club of students who trained to become card-counters and subsequently cleared out Vegas casinos. 21 is the movie based on facts of the MIT crew and this release has Kevin Spacey as the team’s coach. Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth, Aaron Yoo, Liza Lapira play the team of students, and Laurence Fishburne portrays a ruthless casino boss. This drama-thriller is the dramatised version of the story and makes for superb entertainment while teaching us about a piece of gambling history. ✓ Ocean’s Eleven (2001) Possibly one of the most popular Hollywood films in the casino genre, this star-studded movie was released at the beginning of the millennium. Since then, Danny Ocean and his 10 accomplices became synonymous with epic heists, and we can’t imagine a movie where Brad Pitt and George Clooney are in that does not include Julia Roberts. Matt Damon shows up once again in a casino film and Andy Garcia helps with a well-rounded cast. The team plans to rob three Las Vegas casinos simultaneously and the crime thriller will capture you from the first scene. ✓ Casino Royale (2006) A James Bond (Daniel Craig) fan favourite, this 007 film plays out when Bond first received his 00 status, and his mission is to beat a private banker to terrorists at a game of poker. The venue for this extremely high-stake game is Casino Royale, Montenegro. The villain, Le Chiffre, must win the game to maintain his status within the terrorist market. M sends Bond and Vesper to prevent this at all costs. A classic within the spy-film world, this is a must-watch for any gambler. Listen to Casino and Gambling Inspired Music One of the best ways to unwind is by listening to music. Creating a playlist with songs inspired by gambling is easier than ever with streaming sites that have music from all corners of the world, dating back to when music was first released on public platforms. Here are five gambling songs to get you started. ✓ Lilly, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts by Bob Dylan Some may argue that this is about more than gambling, but the theme that will resonate with gamblers is one of chance and fate. It includes a haunting murder plot involving a game of cards and a love quartet. Seems like Bob Dylan created the perfect dramatic song to suit the highs and lows of gambling. ✓ Viva Las Vegas by Elvis Perhaps this song is the reason Elvis has the honour of officiating marriages in Sin City. One thing is clear, though. The king of rock and roll certainly captured the glamour of Las Vegas in this song and if you want a different take on it, try Bruce Springsteen’s cover of it. ✓ The Gambler by Kenny Rogers A gambling playlist would be incomplete without this one. An absolute classic for the moral value late Kenny Rogers put into this song, it is a must for any punter. Naturally, it has a country tinge to it, but whether or not you enjoy that type of music, you may learn a thing or two from the lyrics. ✓ Atlantic City by Bruce Springsteen One of his many hits, this is a bit of a sombre one from The Boss, but he tells a story many could identify with. Atlantic City is a well-known gambling hub, and the lyrics are about a man who struggles to make ends meet and he is going to take his chances there. ✓ Ace of Spades by Motörhead The rock and roll legends wrote a song about the most important card in the deck. Perhaps that has something to do with the enormous hit this song became, but it is one of the most famous gambling songs of all time. The lyrics are all about card gambling and it is a must for any punter’s feel-good playlist. Take a Breather The above methods are all good fun when you want to soak up what gambling offers without taking part in games of chance and staking your money. However, take a breather from gambling now and then to clear your head. Returning to the slots or tables with renewed vigour will help you think clearly and place bets responsibly.
  2. As the new year settles in, people are still acclimating to life in lockdown. With not much to do but wait until the pandemic sorts itself out, many have begun to heavily indulge in one of America's favorite pastimes – watching movies and TV. While some have been to a theater recently, many remain hesitant to go to them. In the wake of isolation, countless people have transitioned to online streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. These companies, along with other competitors, have reaped the rewards of the pandemic – they've seen tremendous growth as theaters became relatively obsolete, for the time being. With their success, streaming platforms are motivated now more than ever to push out content for the general viewing public. As people have been generally satisfied with their streaming experiences – what does the future hold for movie theaters when it's all said and done? Read on to find out more about the current (and potential future) TV and movie watching climate. The Streaming Takeover Regardless of the pandemic, respondent preference between watching movies at home versus going to the theater was a pretty even split – 48% preferred to be on their couch, while 52% wanted the big screen. Still, 69% of them had shelled out money to watch a new release at home, independent of their streaming subscriptions. Fifty-six percent also admitted to purchasing and downloading a movie from a streaming platform. Although 39% of respondents have canceled at least one streaming service since the pandemic started, 82% have added at least one (limited to platforms with at least 100 current subscribers). Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video had the highest jump in usage, with 30% and 29% adding these services, respectively. The most used streaming services were as follows: Amazon Prime Video: 76% Netflix: 71% Disney+: 47% Hulu: 38% HBO Max: 25% The streaming services with the most cancellations since the beginning of the pandemic were as follows: Disney+: 7.2% CBS All Access: 7.0% HBO Max: 5.9% ESPN+: 5.7% Hulu: 5.5% The top streaming services by percentage of new subscribers since the beginning of the pandemic were as follows: Disney+: 30% Amazon Prime Video: 29% Netflix: 17% HBO Max: 15% Hulu: 12% Generally, the most used streaming service has been Amazon Prime Video, covering 76% of respondents. Prime Video has become the people's choice as it offers a ton of benefits. Their streaming service puts out Amazon Original Series, allows for cheap movie renting, and gives consumers the option to subscribe to over 100 channels such as HBO and Showtime. Also, a household can share Prime benefits at no additional cost. Aside from their streaming platform, a subscription offers customers many other perks including online shopping and music streaming. Weighing the Options When asked how eager respondents are to go back to movie theaters, their reactions covered all the bases. Between 19% and 24% were either not at all interested or were very eager, whereas 11% would go right now if they could. Fifty-six percent of them said they were presently able to go to the theater, and 39% had been to one in the last three months. The best part about watching movies at home was the comfort aspect, according to 69% of respondents. In fact, an additional 2 of the top 5 answers revolved around comfort – being able to lie down (47%) and wearing pajamas (46%). On the other hand, half of respondents said that the worst part of the home theater experience was the lack of a "movie magic" feeling. This tied directly into what people missed most about going to the movies – 69% were longing for the "experience." The other top four answers described some aspects of this experience, eating popcorn and candy, having a date night, watching trailers, and enjoying the comfy chairs – these are what make the theater a special place to visit. What respondents were happiest to live without, though, were the overpriced concessions and tickets, according to 69% and 68% of respondents, respectively. It was determined that the typical markup on movie theater popcorn was 788%, soda stood at 558% and candy at 313%. In 2018, Cinemark, an American movie theater chain collected $1.1 billion in concession sales at a cost of $181 million, resulting in an 84% profit margin. Clearly, customers have the right to be a little distraught about the cost of their popcorn and soda. Who's Watching What? The top movies that have been streamed during the pandemic included Hamilton (31%) and Mulan (28%) on Disney+ and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (25%) on Amazon Prime Video. These movies were streamed most by baby boomers, millennials, and Gen Xers, respectively. Some felt the viewing experience would've been better at a movie theater – 65% of Mulan watchers agreed, as well as 66% of those who watched An American Pickle on HBO Max. Only 30% of respondents would prefer to watch drama movies at the theater, but 62% love seeing action/adventure movies on the big screen. From 1995 to 2021, adventure and action movies have brought in the most box office revenue, at $63.57 billion and $47.72 billion, respectively. Generation with the highest percentage of streams per movie Baby boomers were the most likely to have streamed Hamilton. Millennials were the most likely to have streamed Mulan. Gen Xers were the most likely to have streamed Borat Subsequent Moviefilm Millennials were the most likely to have streamed The Old Guard. Generation X was the most likely to have streamed Enola Holmes. Top movies streamed by each generation, by percentage difference from the mean Compared to other generations, millennials were more likely to have streamed the following: Mulan The Devil All the Time The Old Guard Compared to other generations, Gen Xers were more likely to have streamed the following: Holidate Enola Holmes Bad Hair Compared to other generations, baby boomers were more likely to have streamed the following: The Trial of the Chicago 7 Black Is King An American Pickle Some generations streamed movies more than others, and there were some noticeable genre differences in their choices. Two out of the top three millennial choices were action/fantasy movies (Mulan and The Old Guard). Baby boomers enjoyed drama/dramedies the most (The Trial of the Chicago 7 and An American Pickle), and there was no theme among Gen Xers, who had a romantic comedy (Holidate), crime/adventure (Enola Holmes), and comedy/horror/thriller (Bad Hair) in their top three. Theaters Fight Back Once it's all said and done, 44% of respondents believed movie theaters would be somewhat likely to recover from the pandemic, whereas nearly a quarter believed the industry might not be so lucky. Gen Xers were more skeptical than baby boomers and millennials. Social distancing, wearing masks and post-movie disinfection were the top three measures that movie theaters would need to instill in order to make respondents feel comfortable going to one. Only 10% of them were confident in movie theaters' abilities to enforce thorough COVID-related safety procedures. CinemaSafe, a program launched to reintroduce movie theaters with proper health guidelines, have had companies all over the country pledge to meet or even exceed their guidelines. On top of the three previously mentioned measures, additional protocols include employee health training, air filtration, and modified concessions (e.g., contactless payment and eliminating communal food serving equipment). Overall, 68% of people said they'd go back to the movie theater post-pandemic, whereas 32% will opt to continue watching from home. Millennials and Gen Xers were more eager to go out, while baby boomers leaned more heavily toward staying in. We Like What We See (Besides Advertisements) Back to streaming services, most respondents have been satisfied with their subscriptions. Peacock subscribers had the lowest satisfaction rate at 66%, and 17% of CBS All Access users were dissatisfied for one reason or another. The most important quality of streaming services, by far, was deemed to be the quality of content. On top of the usual selection of movies and TV shows, all streaming platforms that ranked above 80% satisfactory level also produced their own original programming. Popular TV show examples include the likes of Stranger Things (Netflix), The Mandalorian (Disney+), and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Prime Video). The most common additional benefit that people splurged on was the removal of advertisements from their streaming platforms (33%). Ad blocking, in general, has become a more common practice among internet users – from 2014 to 2021, there was more than an 11 percentage point uptick in ad blocker usage (from 15.7% to 27%). Otherwise, 26% of respondents said they don't pay for any other premium benefits. The rest were primarily interested in live TV, exclusive/original content, and having multiple profiles on one platform. Big Spenders The average spending on streaming services among respondents was $46 a month, and an additional $44 had been spent on renting or buying movies online. Baby boomers spent the least on both, averaging $33 and $36, respectively. Also, in the pandemic-free world, people went to the theater twice a month, on average. On a current monthly basis, respondents reported streaming an average of 7.6 movies from home. As soon as COVID hit our borders, streaming companies knew they had a big year ahead of them. In 2021, they are projected to spend $122 billion on content – an increase of 11% since last year and 31% from 2019. Netflix announced they would be releasing a new film every week this year, and other major streaming platforms like Hulu are investing fortunes into exclusive FX programming. The onslaught of content has surely kept most subscribers happy thus far, and it doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. The Next Episode Clearly, the pandemic has forced us to change our movie watching tendencies, although the shift toward online streaming has been a welcoming experience for most. Many are confident theaters will make a comeback once it's all said and done, but that doesn't necessarily mean everyone is dying to go to one. There is that certain "movie magic" feeling that only exists in theaters, but the comfort of home has become equally as important. As streaming services continue to release more content and features to their platforms, happy subscribers may never need a reason to leave their house ever again! Netflix surpassed 200 million subscribers thanks in part to the global pandemic, and other platforms have prospered as well as they continue to crank up their efforts heading into 2021 – the year for watching movies and television, apparently. Methodology and Limitations We surveyed 1,062 people about their movie watching habits. Fifty three percent of respondents were men, 46.7% were women, and less than 1% identified as nonbinary. Respondents ranged in age from 18 to 75 with an average of 38. An attention-check question was used to ensure respondents read questions and answers in their entirety. The data we're presenting rely on self-report. There are many issues with self-reported data which include, but are not limited to, the following: attribution, exaggeration, telescoping, and selective memory. Fair Use Statement Before heading off to watch a movie, feel free to share this article with friends and family. We only ask that you do so for noncommercial use and to please provide a link back to the original article page so our contributors can earn credit for their work.
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