Yes, they may be glamorous and attract the great and the good, but with the right attitude, anyone can visit one of the world’s best casinos. There will, of course, be exceptions as some are private members clubs with an exclusive guest list.
But most allow you to play casino with no more than ID and smart attire. And, let’s face it, getting a chance to play poker in an establishment that’s been frequented by none other than James Bond is some incentive!
Casino Estoril: Portugal
Okay, James Bond may be a fictitious character, but author Ian Fleming most certainly wasn’t. If we like to think of Bond as an extension of Flemings’s flamboyant personality, you must visit Casino Estoril.
Not only was this Fleming’s favourite casino, it was the inspiration behind Casino Royale. For Bond and literature fans, Casino Estoril may even be the best casino in the world.
For the rest of us, Casino Estoril is the fifth largest casino in Europe offering every game you’d expect within its vast space. You can even enjoy the space without playing -there are three restaurants and a variety of concerts and shows every night.
Venetian Macao: Macau
Somewhat ironically, regarding the former establishment, the Portuguese government in charge of Macau until 1850, banned casinos! But the sublime Venetian Macao more than made up for it with the second-largest casino in the world.
It’s not just about the variety of games available to play -though with 3,400 slot machines and 800 table games, you won’t be disappointed. As the name of the venue suggests, this is a homage to the Italian city of Venice, which was home to the world’s first-ever casino.
If you fancy being whisked around the venue on a gondola through a network of artificial canals (yes, really) you’ve got to check out Venetian Macao. But don’t rock up in a tee shirt and flip flops, smart casual will do and don’t forget your passport for ID.
Marina Bay Sands: Singapore
If you find yourself in Southeast Asia, you may as well enjoy the Venetian Macao and (just a 4-hour flight away) Marina Bay in Singapore too. Marina Bay isn’t even 25 years old, but it’s already known as one of the best casinos in the world.
It’s no shrinking violet either, the resort consists of three towers joined by a 340-metre-long walkway and the world’s biggest infinity swimming pool. But the heart of the Marina Bay Sands is to be found in the casino.
With 500 tables and 2,000 or so slot machines, the casino is spread over four opulent levels, and each is breathtaking. And it’s getting bigger; a fourth tower is expected as soon as 2028, and there are plans to make even more improvements to the casino spaces too.
The Bellagio: Las Vegas
We can’t talk about casinos without mentioning Las Vegas. The Bellagio, which opened in 1998, may be one of the best in town and like the former venue, there is more to it than just games.
In addition to the 4000 hotel rooms, the Bellagio has dancing fountains, top-spec restaurants and bars and, of course, the casino. Spread over 15,000 square metres it boasts no less than 2,500 slot machines and 40 table games.
It’s also made a name for itself on the silver screen: it made its debut in 2007’s Lucky You but is probably best known for 2001’s Ocean Eleven.
Casino de Monte Carlo: Monaco
And speaking of casinos in movies, the world-famous casino in Monte Carlo is almost a legend of gaming. Opened in 1865 the casino is, famously, not open to Monaco’s residents, but that hasn’t stopped it almost epitomising this beautiful sovereign city-state.
You’ll need to pay a fee to enter and you’d be wise to wear and shirt and jacket. But once in you’ll be entranced by the opulent interior and range of traditional casino games for you to enjoy.
And if you’re on a James Bond casino hunt, Casino de Monte Carlo appeared in both Never Say Never Again and GoldenEye. If that’s not enough for the movie fans, Oceans Twelve was filmed here too!
We couldn’t leave this list with what may be the most casino of casinos in the world. But be aware it’s a member’s member-only establishment -but you can apply for membership on the door.
The dress code is smart casual but in reality, go for a shirt, jacket or even black tie. You’ll want to look the part too; the interior is arguably the most opulent on the page.
It’s also relatively small with 30 tables in three over two floors and if you’ve come for the slots, don’t come. Maxims only do traditional table games and fine dining, as one would expect.