Weak script, poor acting and miscasting aside, it’s the power of the subject that makes this an enjoyable ride. Writer/director Richard Brooks thoroughly researched the Territory of the compulsive gambler and captures the obsession with almost a documentary eye.
Unfortunately, plot is a totally unconvincing jumble and Ryan O’Neal as a sports reporter hooked on the gambling game is wooden and unsympathetic. Up to his ears in gambling debts, O’Neal just gets in deeper with loansharks and operators. He’s already lost his wife due to gambling.
Most of the action takes place in Las Vegas where O’Neal wins and loses huge sums and gets involved with big-timer Giancarlo Giannini.
Rest of the cast is as stiff as the script. Catherine Hicks as a Vegas cocktail waitress and sometime call-girl goes through a few turns that don’t quite fit.