9. Sanchez's Casino (Licence To Kill, 1989)
Franz Sanchez is the de facto king of the fictional Republic of Isthmus - and his fabulous casino fittingly demonstrates his web-like dominion over the country’s rich and famous.
With cameras situated over all the main playing tables, Sanchez casts a watchful eye over who’s moving the moolah in his establishment. Not only that, but it’s from right here behind panes of bulletproof glass that Sanchez meets with an international consortium of apparent criminals to organise drug deals worth hundreds of millions.
It’s a lair that James Bond must cunningly infiltrate to get close to his target. Although Bond makes himself conspicuous almost immediately - he plays cards like a “real jerk-off”, apparently - it’s all part of the plan to be invited upstairs and gain access to the upper echelons of Sanchez’s kingdom.
Not only does Sanchez hold court here with his legions of tuxedo-clad lackeys, but he does it while indulging in (probably) the finest liquors, with his outrageously flamboyant pet iguana perched on his shoulder. If there’s a more hedonistic way for a Bond villain to spend his time, it hasn’t yet been seen.
Although it’s certainly a lion’s den that Bond walks into, it’s also a luxurious one.