Today is the North American release date of the online poker movie ‘Runner, Runner’ starring Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck. The movie was produced under the eye of online poker advocate Leonardo DiCaprio and other pro-gambling executives, and is expected to be used as support for online poker reform in the US, Canada, and elsewhere.
The movie is told from the perspective of Timberlake’s character, Ritchie, as a young college student who enjoys playing online poker. After hitting a hot streak, Ritchie suddenly loses all his money to the offshore domain.
He then decides to fly down to Costa Rica to confront the manager Ivan Brock, played by Affleck, who instead offers Ritchie a job as his right-hand man. The two agree to expand the business together, but their partnership is continuously tested throughout the movie as federal investigators attempt to capture Ivan.
The American Gaming Association plans to use Runner, Runner as an integral part of a new marketing campaign to reform online poker laws in the US. Legislation is before Congress that if passed, would federally authorize regulated online poker sites to protect players from unregulated criminal domains – as managed by Ivan in Runner, Runner.
Geoff Freeman, President of the AGA, says the organization paid for advertisements on Facebook, Twitter, and the movie database site IMDB. Freeman describes the political stalemate in Washington as obstructive for warranted online poker discussions, and views the movie as an opportunity to break that stalemate.
“Washington is changing, and how you share your message in Washington is changing. You’ve got to break through the clutter.”
Runner, Runner was written by David Levien and Brian Koppelman, who also co-wrote the popular gambling movie ‘Rounders.’