For the uninitiated, you could be forgiven for thinking that major casinos are only found in a few cities in the world, like Las Vegas, Macau and Monaco. As great as they may be, at these sorts of gambling hotspots the casinos tend to be the only game in town. Sure, there are other things to do once you leave the gaming floor, but let’s be honest, not too many people go to Macau just for the historic temples and museums.
The casinos are the dominant attraction and everything else is but a side game. That’s great if playing blackjack or poker is the main reason for your trip, but if you’re a holidaymaker first and a gambler second, are these really the places for you?
Happily, there are many other destinations around the world that manage to have a broader appeal — places that combine first-rate casinos and gambling with other plenty of other sights and activities. Below we look at some global destinations where you can mix roulette and blackjack with fascinating culture, thrilling scenery, and exciting nightlife that doesn’t always involve cards or chips.
For those who want to leave their screens behind for a while and combine some real-world gaming with other holiday activities, here are some helpful suggestions.
Of course, the gambling traveller today has many more options than ever before, both in terms of accessibility and technology, so even the most dedicated player is never far away from a (virtual) gaming table, wherever you are! If you have a laptop, a mobile or a tablet, you can always access online casino games with their now being a wealth of remote gaming options to choose from so you’re never out of the gaming action.
Australia Most people who have never been there tend to think of beaches and the bush when they think about Australia, but it also has some enormous casinos in the major cities, like the Crown Casino in Melbourne and Star City in Sydney. These are big and glitzy places to play and are full of plenty of other dining and entertainment options as well. There are also great gaming venues in Adelaide, Hobart and Darwin, three cities that are not automatically on every tourist’s agenda.
There is also a more remote, underground casino in Coober Pedy, about 850km north of Adelaide. It’s very small, and only features slot machines (or ‘pokies’ as they’re called in Australia), but it’s a fascinating part of the country and well worth the trip for the stunning scenery alone.
Singapore Singapore loves iconic architecture, but even in a city famed for its original and innovative designs, Marina Bay Sands casino and hotel stands out. Justifiably famous for its three-tower design and roof-top infinity pool, the casino at Marina Bay Sands has more than 1,500 slots games and 600 gaming tables, and is also packed with high quality eating drinking — as is everywhere in Singapore!
If you fancy a more resort-style casino experience, the casino on Sentosa has more than 500 tables and features some innovative, high-tech payment systems as well.
Germany While Germany mightn’t automatically be at the top of the list when thinking about gambling holidays, the Kurhaus in Baden Baden is nevertheless a must-see for anyone who is interested in the origins of casinos and is looking to play in some historic surroundings. Built in the early 19th century, the Kurhaus Casino remains a stunning example of old-world splendour, replete with stunning wood panelling and chandeliers, and it features an array of classic casino games combined with first-rate dining.
New Zealand Even if you’re not a ‘Lord of the Rings’ fan, it’s hard to deny that New Zealand has some of the most stunning scenery in the world, and this alone makes it a place worth travelling long distances to visit. However, it comes as a surprise to many people to discover that New Zealand also has a thriving casino scene. As you might expect, there are casinos in the main cities such as Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington, but you’ll also find places to play in smaller centres, like Hamilton, Dunedin and Queenstown as well.
South Korea Somewhat unexpectedly, there are casinos throughout South Korea, all of which are open to foreign nationals (although there are restrictions on locals playing at them). The Paradise Casino Wakerhill in the capital Seoul is perhaps the stand out venue, with almost 300 gaming tables combined with some stunning river views (baccarat is especially popular there).
For something a little more out of the ordinary, you can take the short trip to the scenic volcanic island of Jeju-do (a World Heritage site), where there are eight small casinos, with construction currently underway on another two.