The lure of the Casino never fades. The Mediterranean elegance of Monte Carlo and the brash and stunning twenty-four-hour existence of the Las Vegas strip in the desert never fails to excite everyone that gets to visit. But where else are there casinos that have something even more special than Caesar’s Palace and the MGM Grand in Vegas, or the Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monaco – or even the Hippodrome Casino in London? You’ll be quite surprised, as there are bigger, better, more lavish casinos which cater as much for the non-gambler who just wants a great night out, as they do for those whose only aim is to try to win money. And, you’ll find that some of them are in some unexpected places that you might not even have known existed.
Over the past two decades, and since the rise of online casinos, casinos have had to find more innovative ways to market themselves. It counts to be different in the twenty-first century! Although perceived as a real threat to start with, the online casinos have been genuinely beneficial to the land-based casinos, because they have brought more people to the table (so to speak!). But vast numbers of online gamblers are turning to online gaming sites, like this one, who offer innovative and unique live casino games, these games are the choice of those who wish to save themselves the effort and expensive overheads that come hand in hand with a visit to a land-based casino. Therefore, the real tables have had to step up in order to keep pace.
So, if you’re planning that holiday to a casino and also want to stay at a resort that offers more than just a few games tables and an all-night bar, and you’re not sure where to go, then take a peek at some of the examples below. It’s a list of the most unique and exciting casinos in the world.
1. Sun City Casino Resort – Rustenburg, South Africa
There’s a lot of history with gambling in South Africa, but it’s all happened in a short space of time. Casino gambling was completely banned in the country until the new laws in 1996 were passed. There had been a casino in Sun City since the early 1970’s (in the homeland area of Bophuthatswana where the laws didn’t apply) and, since the end of the Apartheid, it has now become one of the world’s top venues. Only two hours from Johannesburg, it feels like it is in the middle of nowhere. To make things even more exciting, the facilities include an 18-hole golf course (designed by Gary Player!), a water park with a river and waterfalls, quad biking, zip lines and the opportunity to see the game in the nearby Pilanesberg Game Reserve.
The resort boasts 4 hotels, 850 slot machines and 40 gaming tables with a choice of all your favourite games, including blackjack, roulette, stud poker and baccarat.
2. Marina Bay Sands – Singapore
If you’re a fan of Formula 1, then you’ll have seen this resort every year when the F1 show goes to Singapore. The stunning three towers of the Marina Bay Sands Resort with the connecting sky park at the top, reportedly cost $8 billion in 2010 when it was built. For that money they didn’t just get a huge complex that the F1 cars can race around for one weekend in the year, the resort also includes a 2,500 room hotel, a 74,000-square-metre shopping centre, a museum and two theatres, restaurants, floating pavilions and the world’s largest atrium casino. The casino itself has 500 tables and 1,600 slot machines.
The Sky Park itself is also a record-breaker – it can hold 3,900 people and has a 150-metre infinity pool (the small part you see on the F1 programming is just a very tiny section of it!). The Sky Park is also the world’s largest public cantilevered platform. It’s all pretty unique in every respect.
3. Foxwoods Resort Casino – Ledyard, Connecticut
Being the biggest Casino resort in North America is a pretty big deal. Being the biggest casino resort and yet not being situated in Las Vegas, is a really big deal. The resort is also owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. The indigenous American Indian tribe gained control of their reservation in 1983 (despite President Reagan opposing them!) and, by 1986, they had established a high-stakes bingo hall. The venue grew (with the help of Lim Goh Tong, a Chinese Malaysian investor), and by 1995 there were more table games and more slot machines – by 2008 there were 6,300 slots and a 30-table game area.
What’s truly unique about the Foxwoods Casino Resort is that being located on sovereign Mashantucket Pequot land, they don’t have to follow the state smoking laws. It’s not a free smoking zone, as such, but there are common areas such as hallways, lobbies and restaurants where smoking is permitted.
4. Kurhaus – Baden Baden, Germany
Who knew there was a world-famous casino in Germany that Marlene Dietrich once declared to be ‘the world’s best casino’? Not only is it famous for the A-listers one-liner, the extravagantly designed casino was constructed in the 1820’s at the height of the Imperial German Empire. The high society of Germany flocked to the casino and the therapeutic waters of Baden Baden. Not only was it exclusive, but it was, and still is, the most elegant casino in Europe.
While the numbers for the casino may not excite as some of the others (113 slots and 24 gaming tables with baccarat, roulette and poker), the sheer elegance and luxury make it a genuinely unique location. Oh yes, it is also close to the historic Black Forest.
There might only be four of them, but the casino resorts all represent an alternative to those on the Las Vegas strip. They all offer something that Vegas or, for that matter, London or Monte-Carlo can’t. An African game park, the world’s largest atrium casino with a 150-metre infinity pool on top, a smoking-friendly, US casino on tribal lands, and a luxurious venue in the heart of the Black Forest with healing waters close by. We think that any of these would make a holiday a little bit special.