gambling; risk taking; culture; film; identity; agency; qualitative research; visual methodologies; space; James Bond


Film and Media Studies | Human Geography | International Relations | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Sociology | Visual Studies

Document Type

Original Research Article


Scholarly analysis of gambling in the James Bond films is rare, despite the multitude of topics in Bondology and the fictional agent’s global fame. The odd commentary in gambling scholarship criticizes the franchise from the perspective of harm prevention. This article counters both groups of scholars with a qualitative interpretation of Bond’s gambling habits and the role of gambling and risk taking in the film series. A basic toolkit of visual methodologies is applied to the 24 EON-produced Bond films released in 1962–2015. The examination shows the critical importance of gambling to character identity, power hierarchies and communication, atmosphere, and sense of risk and danger. The study shows that not only gamblers and gambling, but also individual games and settings have narrative agency in the films. The results expand understanding about gambling in cinema and ways of studying it, and the existing readings in Bondology of the 2006 prequel Casino Royale. The findings encourage open-minded inquiries into diverse audiences and their responses. The findings call for, and exemplify the value of, deeper interdisciplinary understanding of popular culture in gambling research.

Funding Sources

Included in the acknowledgements, no involvement.

Competing Interests

No competing interests.