You might think you know the answer to this question already. Las Vegas, right? Well, maybe not.
But before we dive into the best casino destination in the world, let’s get a bit of background on brick-and-mortar casinos as we now call them. Because these days you can visit Bally’s Casino UK, say, from anywhere in the world and have a virtual casino experience without forking out of flights/hotels.
But many would argue you can’t beat the experience of checking out the real thing, and that all began in Venice, Italy in the Middle Ages. Not that you’d have necessarily recognised it as ‘a casino’, though there would be clues such as wager-based card games.
From the off, the casino was destined to be set in attractive surroundings with an exclusive clientele. This fashion spread further across Europe; the roulette wheel appeared in Paris during the 17th century as the casino evolved into what we would recognise today.
The casino arrived in the US in the 1800’s, by now poker was the game of choice as the casino took tentative steps towards mechanised games. The first slot machines were established at the end of the 18th century, gradually adapting until they became the first choice for establishments.
These days slots account for 65% to 88% of the entire land-casino income, and the percentage is probably even higher for online casinos. Having said that, high-end casino establishments still retain that air of sophistication that makes them unique, with some adhering to a rigid dictate of membership requirements.
So, where to begin? Here we’ll check out the candidates before deciding, which is the best casino destination in the world, beginning with the elephant in the room…
Las Vegas, USA
Maybe only Elvis Presley is more associated with Las Vegas than casinos. There are a whopping 63 gaming establishments here and because they cater for all types of clientele, many lack the sheer class of other venues.
Bellagio and MGM Grand Hotel and Casino may well be acclaimed gaming spots, but they’re just not as sophisticated as others on this page. But that’s not to say you can wander in and out of them in just a Hawaiian shirt, sawn-off shorts and flip-flops either.
Many have dress codes with some requiring additional attention to your attire in the evenings. So, if you’re planning a trip to Vegas (which is highly recommended) check the rules and regulations first.
Casino Baden-Baden, Baden-Baden, Germany
If you want to put Vegas into context, Casino Baden-Baden is at once accessible -to a degree anyway- sophisticated and it simply oozes glamour. Marlene Dietrich herself called it the most beautiful casino in the world.
At 150 years old with décor inspired by the Palace of Versailles if you please, this is a haven for roulette, blackjack and its acclaimed red and gold poker rooms. There’s a shirt and tie dress code and you’ll need an internationally recognised ID to enter.
Monte Carlo Casino, Monte Carlo, Monaco
We can’t really discuss casinos without including James Bond. And the famous casino in Monte Carlo featured in both Never Say Never Again and GoldenEye.
That alone makes it a draw for the punters but, again, there is a strict dress code though anyone over 18 can enter with an internationally recognised ID. Once inside you’ll be awestruck by the décor, so opulent it almost borders on being utterly tasteless, yet it doesn’t quite spill over into being kitsch.
The casino has a great variety of games, poker, roulette and blackjack with Chemin de Fer and Trente & Quarante to remind you what this place is all about. With private rooms and Monaco waiting outside, this casino destination could be the best on the page…
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
This one is free to enter (with a passport) and boasts 1500 slot machines and 600 gaming tables. And when you consider it’s in the middle of a shopping mall, off the page, it may not scream sophistication.
But you’d be mistaken, it’s beautifully designed with a natural, cool elegance that sets it apart from other gaming establishments. A lack of pretension and stunning surroundings make this one unique, and well worth checking out.
The Ritz Club, London
Arguably the most glamorous casino anywhere in the world, the Ritz Club Casino epitomises opulence. Not that you’ll get within fifty feet of it without membership (£1500 a year) this is a high-stakes joint with a sensational restaurant and exclusive bar.
Yes, it could make London the best casino destination in the world, but it isn’t. There’s only one place on this page that does ‘casino’ like the world is about to end.
Of course, the best casino destination in the world is Las Vegas!