The top 9 casino destinations globally
With residents of 4 states now able to bet over the internet, the US online gambling scene is slowly recovering from its 2011 nadir. However, the virtual experience still can’t quite match the land-based one just yet, and the thrill of entering a new casino for the first time is shared by casual players and veterans alike. But where are the top places in the world to enjoy casino fun? Here are the top 9 casino destinations where the high rollers love to play, but casual visitors are welcome too.
The tiny European principality of Monaco has long been known as a premier gambling destination, with its Casino de Monte Carlo seen by many as the spiritual home of roulette. This reputation began back in the 19th Century, when Englishman Charles Wells won the sum of 1 million Francs, which equates to $13 million dollars in today’s money. The haul was immortalized in the song, “The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo”, which merely added to the glamour and mystique of Monaco. In the 50’s and 60’s, the casino became famous once again as the backdrop to many of James Bond’s spy plots. These days Monaco is still a top draw for tourists, whether they play on the gaming terrace overlooking the sea or the slot machines in the Salle Europe.
The southern Chinese resort city of Macau has been Asia’s gambling capital for many decades, with rival billionaires Stanley Ho and the Fu family competing to build bigger and better casinos. Since the opening of the market in 2002, the city has flourished, with no less than 34 casinos now operating from this former Portuguese colony. The spectacular Grand Lisboa is the most visible of them, shaped as it is like a lotus, and this is the place to go for all kinds of table games. However, the Venetian Macau certainly gives it a run for its money, as it is now the largest casino in the world, with over 3000 slot machines on offer. If you are in Asia and like to gamble, you simply have to visit Macau.
The most famous gambling city in the world, Las Vegas’s reputation as a Sin City is certainly well deserved. What happens here, stays here, and what a happening place it is. Iconic casinos such as the pyramid-shaped Luxor, the Venetian with its own canal, the Eiffel Tower-themed Paris, and of course Caesar’s Palace, are all good reasons to come here to gamble. No matter what your passion is, from blackjack to roulette to slots to poker, you can find the best of it in Vegas. In recent decades Las Vegas has diversified into the conference scene, which means that you may have to visit the city on official business. If so, you need to spend a night at one of the excellent gambling establishments and see if you get lucky.
The second casino town in the US, Atlantic City is conveniently located in southern New Jersey, and is a popular haunt for NYC gamblers. There are many famous casinos in town, some of which are owned by President Trump. Perhaps the most well-known of them all was the Taj Mahal, although at the time of writing, this is being refurbished and rebranded as the Hard Rock casino. Popular slot provider Bally’s have their own establishment, where you can play every slot game in a Wild West-themed establishment situated directly on the boardwalk. And it is this boardwalk which makes Atlantic City such a fine place to gamble, as you can always head outside for a breath of fresh air whenever you need a break from a losing run.
If you are looking to gamble in an exotic location, then perhaps the Bahamas is the place to go. This island chain off the coast of Florida has been offering thrilling casino experiences for tourists since 1920. The capital city of Nassau is the center of most of the action, with the Atlantis Resort Casino at Paradise Island offering poker, slots and all kinds of table games in a stunning setting. Nearby is the largest establishment in the Bahamas, the Baha Mar Casino at the Hyatt Hotel. This joint offers no less than 1500 slot machines for you to try your luck on.
The island nation of Malta is best-known in the gambling world as a major centre of the European online gambling industry. However, this small rock, situated between Italy and North Africa is also home to several excellent land-based casinos. For example, the Portomaso casino in the tourist area of St Julian’s is the place to enjoy poker, and has been the scene of many top-class poker tournaments throughout the years, including the annual Battle of Malta. Close by is the Dragonara casino. Occupying a 19th-Century palazzo designed in a neo-classical style, and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the Dragonara is surely one of the most beautiful casinos in the world. Here patrons enjoy the widest range of table games in the world, including Punto Banco, Roulette, Blackjack and most variations of poker.
With places like Zodiac casino gaining popularity in the UK, London is always worth a visit, as the history, culture and entertainment options are second to none. With the British pound at the lowest rates since the 1980’s, a trip to the UK is even more enticing right now, and gambling aficionados will certainly be impressed by London’s casino scene. The Hippodrome is located in Leicester Square in the heart of London and is open 24/7, with enough bars and restaurants to keep you going through the longest of sessions. If you wish to experience the very best that London has to offer, though, you should think of applying to become a member of Crockfords Club. This exclusive casino is the place to be seen, and offers every table game under the sun, including Sic-bo (Chinese dice).
Since the end of Apartheid, the city of Cape Town has proved to be a huge draw for tourists, attracted by its dramatic scenery, cosmopolitan atmosphere and world-class cuisine. Cape Town also is home to the very best casinos on the continent of Africa, with the GrandWest casino offering some thrilling gambling experiences. Over 2000 slot machines and 75 tables are perfect for casual players, while there are high stakes on offer at the Salon Prive. Unlike other casino destinations which are mostly-adult themed, the GrandWest casino complex is family-friendly, with plenty of entertainment options for the kids. Lastly, a visit to Cape Town would not be complete without a wine tour and trip up Table Mountain.
The Niagara Falls area straddles the US-Canada border, and each side is now blessed with some pretty good casinos. On the New York side of the border, you can try out the Seneca resort, which as well as being a fully-featured casino, also offers golf and spa facilities. On the Ontario side, Casino Niagara and the Fallsview Casino resort offer a combined total of 4500 slot machines and 145 table games. After witnessing the spectacular grandeur of the waterfalls, it can be definitely worth having a spin on the slots or trying to beat the dealer at blackjack.
Which of these world class casino destinations will you visit next?